Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1643-1706
Dutch painter and etcher, active also in England. He was the second son of Cornelis Schalcken from Heusden, a clergyman in Made, and Aletta Lydius, who came from a famous clerical family in Dordrecht. In 1654 the family moved to Dordrecht, where Cornelis was appointed headmaster of the Latin school. There Godfried was apprenticed to Samuel van Hoogstraten. He completed his training in Leiden with Gerrit Dou and by 1665 had returned to Dordrecht. Schalcken's earliest known works, for example the Doctor's Visit (1669; Germany, priv. col., on loan to Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus.), are dominated by the influence of Dou and the Leiden 'fine painters'. Like Dou, Schalcken painted small genre pieces with a wealth of painstakingly rendered detail, and his themes and frequent use of artificial lighting are strongly reminiscent of the Leiden master. The six prints known by him, including a portrait of Gerrit Dou and a few portraits after van Hoogstraten, must also originate from this period. Possibly under the influence of Caspar Netscher and Frans van Mieris, Schalcken soon afterwards adopted a freer touch with gentler transitions and a lighter palette and applied himself to painting genre pieces with elegant figures.