More than 300 years before the birth of surrealism movement – in the early 17th century there was a French painter François de Nomé (1593 – after 1623), also known under the name of Monsu Desiderio. This name was also used by another Frenchman Didier Barra. They both spent most of their lives in Naples.
De Nomé painted surreal and apocalyptic scenes – imaginary ruins and catastrophes in a very realistic and detailed style. Some of those scenes were inspired by a real historical collapse, like The Fall of Roman Empire or The Fall of Troy, some were inspired by the Biblical motifs, while most of them were just imaginary ones. Despite his unusual and unique style, the French painter is a relatively unknown figure and there is not much known about his life. He was one of the sources of inspiration for the 20th-century surrealists, like Andre Breton.
The Paintings of François de Nomé