The fine-painter Godefridus Schalcken (1643-1706) is among the obscured geniuses of Dutch painting. He could be considered as one of the most important Dutch painters of the late 17th century. In his own time, he was a very successful painter of portrait and genre who received international fame, mostly with his seductive, at times erotic, candlelit images.
Schalcken is a tempter. His work is extraordinary because of the refined way in which the viewer is lured into the scene. His small, detailed paintings open up an intimate world that is full of nocturnal tension and erotic desire. The painter turns the viewer into a voyeur and entices him to experience multiple emotions at the sight of his naughty, candlelit ladies. At the same time he prompts the eye to discover from up close the painterly stroke that enables him to evoke this sensuous pleasure. Schalcken seduces with his provoking subjects and astonishing technique.
Schalcken – Kunstenaar van het verleiden (Schalcken – The Artist of Seduction) was organized in collaboration with the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne. It is not so peculiar that the retrospective is coming to the Dordrecht Museum now. Schalcken and Dordrecht are closely connected. It is where the artist grew up, got his first painting lessons, got married and where he established his name as the painter of refined portraits and genre pieces.