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Sunday

Willem Kalf (1619-1693) Dutch Golden Age painter

Willem Kalf was a son of a successful textile merchant and a member of the city government in Rotterdam, although his father died when he was 6 years old. In his early twenties Kalf travelled to Paris where he remained living in a circle of mostly Flemish artists in the neighborhood of St. Germain des Pres until 1646.

He married Cornelia Pluvier, a talented poet, composer and calligrapher in 1651 and by 1653 they had moved to Amsterdam where Kalf joined the local Guild. They had four children.

About 150 of Kalf's paintings have survived, they are among the finest Dutch pronckstillevens (still lifes of luxurious objects) - the opulent arrangements of precious silver pieces, Chinese porcelain, nautilus shells, fancy glass, with food and fruit, that reveal the wealth Dutch citizens had accrued by 1650s and the painter's exquisite skills, both technical and aesthetic. His paintings were highly esteemed by contemporaries and brought about 30 to 40 guilders.

Willem Kalf was also an art dealer - he seems to have given up painting sometime in 1679-1680 to increasingly concentrate on art trade. In later years he passed jugement on the authorship of pictures, as in 1686, Kalf dismissed a "Titian" as a copy; in 1672 he was part of the impressive group of artists who questioned the authenticity of 13 Italian paintings owned by the art dealer Gerrit Uylenburgh.

Willem Kalf died in 1693. In the account of Arnold van Houbraken, on the evening of 31 July Kalf was on his way home after meeting an art dealer named Zomer when he stumbled and fell forward on his chest. “He felt unwell, but without giving further thought to the aftereffects he went to bed, and by the time the clock struck ten he was already a corpse.” (http://www.screen-advertising.com)

Théophile Alexandre Steinlen (1859-1923) Art Nouveau Painter and Printmaker

Born in Swiss, Théophile Alexandre Steinlen studied at the University of Lausanne. After graduating he took a job as a textile designer. He and his wife moved to Montmartre in Paris when he was in his early twenties. There he collaborated on Le Chat Noir, the satirical journal associated with Rodolphe Salis's cabaret. This venture initiated a lifetime career as an illustrator for many other journals.
Steinlen worked on the books of his close friend Anatole France and Guy de Maupassant. He designed posters and illustrations for periodicals, for the new space where the Chat Noir moved Steinlen helped create its new decor and its outdoor sign. Some of his posters such as Motorcycles Comiot and La Rue became icons of advertising art. In 2003, a 10-foot-wide poster, La Rue (1896) by Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen, was sold to an anonymous Boston collector for a record $59,700.
The chronicler of the Belle Époque Steinlen often painted scenes of life in Montmartre and its environs.




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