Jacques Stella

Dates1596 - 1657

François Stella, a painter and dealer of Flemish origin, died too early to teach his son, Jacques Stella. From about 1616 to 1622, Jacques was in Florence working for Cosimo II de' Medici, along with Jacques Callot, whose style influenced Stella's early engravings. Around 1623 Stella moved to Rome, where he stayed for ten years and gained fame for his small-scale paintings and engravings. In Rome he was influenced by the cool classicism and restraint of Nicolas Poussin's art and became one of Poussin's few intimates.

In about 1634, Stella ventured towards Paris, traveling to Venice, Milan, and Lyon along the way. In Paris, Cardinal Richelieu presented him to Louis XIII, who appointed him Painter to the King. In later years, Stella worked in Paris, Rouen, and Versailles, but his life became overshadowed by illness.

After his death, Stella's paintings and drawings were often sold as the works of Poussin. The chronology of Stella's works is far from settled, with numerous paintings still untraced or damaged. His nieces, whom Stella trained as painters, later engraved many of his drawings.