Godfried Schalcken, sometimes spelled Gottfried Schalken was born to a Clergy man in the town of Made of the Netherlands. He was a portraitist, genre painter and etcher, who became renowned for his skillful depiction of artificial or candle light. He trained under some of Rembrandt’s (1606 – 1669) most accomplished pupils, including Gerrit Dou (1613 – 1675) and Samuel Dirksz van Hoogstraten (1627 – 1678).
He was active early on in the town of Leiden, returning to the area of Dordrecht, then settling in The Hague and also traveling to England. His style is said to have developed into a more free-hand touch and use of softer colors, different from his early genre paintings in Leiden. For some time he was a leading portraitist throughout Amsterdam. His portrait of the Grand Duke Cosimo de’ Medici was done using the artist’s famous candlelight depictions, now at the Uffizi Gallery. Of his other well known candle paintings are Girl Eating an Apple and Two Men Examining a Painting by Candlelight.