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ID number:  BIRBI-94.2
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Stom, Matthias (c.1600-?after 1652)
Title / Object name:  Isaac blessing Jacob
Object type:  Painting
Place made:  Sicily
Culture:  Dutch
Date made:  about 1635/7
Materials:  Oil on canvas
Measurements:  136.5 x 182 cm
Provenance:  Prince Caracciolo; by descent to Prince Carafa, Naples; Private Collection, New York; Trafalgar Galleries, London; Purchased in 1994 with financial assistance from the National Art Collections Fund and the Museums and Galleries Commission/Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund.

The old and blind Isaac summons his eldest son Esau to prepare his meal and receive a blessing. His wife Rebecca substitutes her favourite son Jacob who wears goat-skin gloves in order to resemble his hairy brother. He steps forward gingerly whilst Rebecca gestures to us not to reveal the deception. The dog sniffing the meat indicates that the biblical story also works as an allegory of the Five Senses - smell, taste, touch, hearing and sight.

Stom was born in the Netherlands, but lived mainly in Naples and Sicily. His style was based on that of Caravaggio (1571 - 1610) with its dramatic lighting, emotional directness and realistic figures.

Notes:  Exhibited: 'Art Treasures of England', Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK, 22 January 1998 - 13 April 1998; Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, UK, January 2002 - April 2002; 'Saved! 100 Years of the National Arts Collections Fund', Hayward Gallery, London, UK, 23 October 2003 - 18 January 2004; 'Caravaggio and the North', Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Madrid, Spain, 14 June 2016 - 18 September 2016

1 Related People

Stom, Matthias
c. 1600
?after 1652

2 Related Publications

Saved! 100 Years of the National Art Collections Fund
Verdi, R
Hayward Gallery Publishing
Scripture Bulletin
O'Kane, M.
The Catholic Biblical Association of Great Britain
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