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Willem Kalf

1619 - 1693

Kalf was the leading still-life painter in Holland in the mid-17th century. His mature still-life works are of a type called 'Pronkstilleven' in Dutch, meaning 'ostentatious still life' and referring to the display of lavish man-made objects. The Gallery's 'Still Life with Drinking-Horn' is an outstanding example.

Kalf was born in Rotterdam and may have been trained in Dordrecht by François Rijkhals. He was in Paris, by about 1639, and returned to Rotterdam by 1646. In 1653 he settled in Amsterdam, where he died. His earliest paintings are kitchen and farm interiors. His later Amsterdam works have been compared with Vermeer in their handling and treatment of light.