His father was a printer, bookbinder and bookseller. In 1782, he was enrolled in classes at the Painter's Guild, where he studied with Franciszek Ignacy Molitor (1741-?), a Czech painter working at the Royal Court, and Kazimierz Mołodziński (?-1795), a religious painter. In 1787, he became a Master in the guild. From 1817 until his death, he was a teacher at Saint Barbara's gymnasium and, for many years, was a member of the Krakow Scientific Society. He died at his home and was buried at Rakowicki Cemetery.
His best known works depicted contemporary historical events, many of which he witnessed, such as "Kościuszko's Oath on the Market Square" and "The Entrance of Prince Józef Poniatowski into Kraków". He also did genre scenes, portraits, and religious paintings; notably the Stations of the Cross at the Church of St. Casimir the Prince and images for two side altars at the church in Jangrot.
In 1816, he received a major commission from Bishop Jan Paweł Woronicz to do wall paintings at the Bishop's Palace, which took two years to complete. Only thirty-two years later, they were destroyed by a fire. In 1820, he was given another major commission from the architect, Sebastian Sierakowski (1743-1824), to paint a mural at the Collegium Maius depicting the history of the Jagiellonian University.
He also worked as a lithographer and illustrated the Monumenta regum Poloniae Cracoviensia (Tombs of the Kings of Poland in Kraków).
- Kościuszko's Oath
at the Market Square
- Poniatowski's Entrance into Kraków
- Zbigniew Michalczyk, Michał Stachowicz (1768-1825): Krakowski Malarz Między Barokiem a Romantyzmem, Instytut Sztuki PAN, 2011 ISBN 83-923438-6-7
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Michał Stachowicz.|
- Article about Stachowicz from the Tygodnik Ilustrowany 1859.
- Monumenta Regum Poloniae Cracoviensia @ the Kujawsko-Pomorska Digital Library