Dutch masters 1 - Willem Kalf


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I'm an admirer of the Dutch masters, especially those of the 17th century. Of course everyone knows Rembrandt, Vermeer, Steen and Hals, but there are many other great painters from that period, and I want to present here a some examples of their work (and perhaps also that from other periods). It's difficult to find good reproductions on the Internet, and even the best ones can give only a faint reflection of what you experience when you see them in reality.

So here's the first one, Willem Kalf (1619 - 1693), famous for his still lifes with precious goblets and glasses and juicy lemons, painted in deep, rich tones.

Here is his still life with Nautilus Goblet:


Other examples can be found at:



http://token.rijksmuseum.nl/wwwopac.exe?DA...t1&%250=8859%22 (the latter is a bit too bluish and perhaps also a bit too dark, I think, but it's many years ago that I saw the painting)

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I think my favorite thing about this painting (as well as the other linked examples) is the lighting. I can't quite put my finger on what it is exactly, but some things, such as the goblet and the lemon, seem to have their own light coming from inside of them, without lmaking the painting look strange or unnatural. The main parts of the paintings have their own sort of of life to them, giving the painting itself life. I'm probably not making too much sense, but that's what first caught my attention. And the detail is beautiful.

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There is the clair-obscur technique of the highlighted objects, and the subtle effects of reflections, like that of the orange(?) at the right in the goblet and the reflection of light on the silver platter (of which we hardly see anything, except the border, indicated by a few white dots and dashes), lighting the bottom of the cup; the light falling through the transparant section of the lemon, making it glow. I find all these lighting effects fascinating.

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