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The Annunciation - Matthias Stomer. 113x166
Matthias Stomer (circa 1600 - after 1649) was one of those who are called “Caravagists,” that is, a follower of the Italian artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, whose painting the Dutchman could see during his stay in Naples. From it, Stomer took over, including the particulars of chiaroscuro, which he used in this picture.
Virgin Mary and the archangel Gabriel who appeared to Her are illuminated by the flame of a candle standing on the table, snatching their figures from the gloom of the room. The oscillating light increases the tension of the whole scene, read in the expression on the face of Mary and her gesture. Everything depicted by Stomer looks magical in this world. But the artist, resorting to this method of lighting, not only creates a mood, but also solves purely pictorial problems. The hands and faces of the characters acquire warmth, and it seems that pulsating blood is visible through the transparent skin. The viewer feels himself standing right next to this table, that is, a witness to what is happening. This effect was achieved in painting by Caravaggio himself, and all who were under his influence.