In February 2016 STAM added ‘Self-portrait by P.F. De Noter in his studio’ to its collection. Painted in 1817, it is now part of STAM’s permanent display ‘The Story of Ghent’.

Pierre François De Noter (1779-1842) is best known for his numerous cityscapes, including views of Ghent. In particular, the historic city centre with its medieval monuments captured his imagination. At STAM we have some fifty cityscapes by De Noter.

The painting purchased in February 2016 is not just a self-portrait, for it also features the artist’s studio. Actual interiors of simpler, more modest houses from that period are quite rare, for the tendency was to depict the luxurious interiors of aristocratic or bourgeois homes or public buildings, or to paint genre scenes which the artist romanticized. In 1815 De Noter moved from the Nieuwland to Sleepstraat. That move may have motivated him to paint his new studio.

The coat of arms on the back of the painting probably refers to Mr. d’Hane de Stuyvenberg. He was a contemporary of De Noter and owned a number of his paintings. One of them was a version of the ‘View of the Church of St Nicholas’, which also appears in the self-portrait. STAM has two versions of this painting in its collection.