Flemish painter (ca. 1499-1546)
Kalcker, JAN STEPHANUS VAN (GIOVANNI DA CALCAR and JOANNES STEPHANUS CALCARENSIS), Flemish painter, native of the Duchy of Cleves; b. between 1499 and 1510; d. at Naples, 1546. Vasari refers to this painter several times, mainly with respect to his having been a pupil of Titian, entering his school in 1536, and to his faculty for copying the works of that master with extraordinary accuracy. Kalcker appears to have worked first at Dordrecht, but the greater part of his life was spent at Naples, and there, as Vasari tells us, "the fairest hopes had been conceived respecting his future progress." He was responsible for the eleven large plates of anatomical studies which were engraved for Andrea Vesalio as illustrations for his work on anatomy, and Vasari praises them very highly. Kalcker is also said to have drawn the portraits of the artists in the early edition of Vasari's "Lives". By some writers he has been declared to have been a close imitator of Giorgione; all who write about him unite in stating that his imitations of the works of the great Venetian artists, and also of Raphael, were so extraordinary that they deceived many critics of the day. His pictures are to be seen in Berlin, Paris, Florence, Vienna, and Prague, and his original works are, as a rule, portraits, although at Prague there is a remarkable "Nativity" by him, which was once the property of Rubens.
GEORGE CHARLES WILLIAMSON