Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

The Mocking of Christ

Matthias Stom (also known as Stomer) was one of a group of artists from Utrecht who became known as caravaggisti—followers of the Italian painter Caravaggio. Stom spent most of his life in southern Italy, especially Naples and Sicily, where he would have come into direct contact with the first generation of Caravaggio’s followers. Those artists’ influence is evident in Stom’s use of artificial lighting sources, such as the torch in this picture, which provides dramatic contrasts of light and dark. The depiction of Christ’s mockers, who wear contemporary clothes, also recalls Caravaggio’s use of lower-class Roman and Neapolitan models in his religious paintings. This unusual composition conflates two separate episodes from the Passion of Christ—his mocking and his later crowning with thorns—into a single scene.

Matthias Stom
Dutch, ca. 1600-after 1650
The Mocking of Christ
ca. 1640
Oil on canvas
51 x 72 in. (182.9 x 129.5 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Anonymous gift, 82.47