STELLA, Jacques
(b. 1596, Lyon, d. 1657, Paris)


French painter. Stella is an example of a painter who enjoyed great esteem in his lifetime, both as an artist and a patron (of Nicolas Poussin), but whose work is no longer appreciated. Most of the early part of his career was spent in Italy, both in Florence and Rome, and he must have been strongly influenced by the small Madonnas of Raphael. He became a friend of Poussin in Rome and acquired numerous pictures by him, including the Venus and Aeneas now at Rouen. Poussin influenced Stella's sweetly decorative style (which is similar in scale and charm to that of Lubin Baugin) to the point where his pictures became cold and hard and lacking in sentimentality. Unusually for a Frenchman, Stella sometimes painted on a precious ground such as lapis-lazuli or marble, allowing the pattern of the stone to form part of the composition.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.