François de Nomé  

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François de Nomé (1593-died after 1620) was an French painter of the Baroque period, active mainly in Naples. Born in Metz in the Lorraine region, he had moved to Rome by 1602. He often painted under the pseudonym of Monsù Desiderio, which encompassed at least three artists, Nome and his compatriot Didier Barra, and an unknown third artist. The themes are bizarre, typically decrepit ruins or near-barren buildings in a nearly-surrealist, apparently post-apocalyptic landscape. People are tiny figures, skies overcast, tonalities earthen, and edges indistinct. His depiction of Venice's Piazza di San Marco is correctly populated by the appropriate structures, but the details are all invented.

The style was not highly influential for Italian painters of landscapes (veduta) in the next century, with the exception of perhaps Alessandro Magnasco. However, the depictions of nightmarish wilderness amidst the detritus of civilization was a thematic adopted by painters such as Salvatore Rosa, Michelangelo Cerquozzi, and the cappricci (whimsical and fantastic monuments, ruins, or buildings) of Piranesi. No other artist of the seventeenth century had such a sense of theatricality.

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