Willem Kalf

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kalf, Willem


Christened Nov. 3, 1619, in Rotterdam; died July 31, 1693, in Amsterdam. Dutch painter.

Kalf worked in France from about 1640 to 1645 and in Amsterdam after 1653. He created paintings that were modest in size and motif, but full of mood, depicting poor kitchens and backyards (for example, The Yard of a Peasant House, the Hermitage, Leningrad), as well as spectacular still lifes with expensive utensils and southern fruits (for example, Breakfast, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam). Kalf’s brilliant virtuosity as a still-life painter was revealed in the classic fineness of the composition, a subtle feeling for the uniqueness of each object, the refinement and richness of chiaroscuro and color nuances, and the skillful juxtaposition of objects differing in color and texture.


Gelder, H. E. van, W. C. Heda, and A. van Beyeren. W. Kalf Amster-dam [1941].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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A Willem Kalf still life sold for a record $2.8m against an estimate of $2m-$4m.
In 1951, Ruzicka acquired a late Willem Kalf still life with corals and shells.
Four hundred years after Dutch still life artist Willem Kalf painted vessels of wine and plates of fruit, realistic still life art is still making its mark on the art world.
They are like watery reminders of Dutch still lifes in this genre, say one by Willem Kalf (you might want to drop by the exhibition of Dutch and Flemish paintings from the Hermitage, and check Ting's way with fruit against Kalf's The Dessert-which incidentally shows fruit in a dell bowl patterned after a piece of Chinese porcelain).