Who are Royal Talens?

Posted: June 22, 2022
Marten Talons

Some History on our main supplier of fine art materials

Hopefully after reading this page you will understand a little more of what Talens make, and why we focus mainly on selling their products.

Royal Talens have been manufacturing paints and other art supplies for over 100 years, and their art materials encompass a number of globally renowned brands including Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Cobra Watermixable Oil Paint, Amsterdam Acrylic Paint, Art Creation and the new Amsterdam Deco range (Decorfin HobbyCraft), amongst others. Their products lead the market in art materials and have built up a reputation for their superb quality over many years. The versatility between their ranges truly allows the artist more flexibility and choice when expressing themselves through theirchosen medium. Talens brands of art materials are characterised by comprehensive and unique colour ranges, pure and authentic pigment sources, exceptional durability, high viscosity, and excellent levels of lightfastness. You can find all these important qualities and more in the Rembrandt ranges; particularly the Soft Pastel and Oil Paints.

Talens take a generic approach when naming the colours of their paints, not using terms like ‘hue’ when describing a cadmium alternative. They will instead but the alternative pigment in brackets. E.g.. Cobalt Blue (Ultramarine) – this mean that this colour is an alternative Cobalt Blue, with a Ultramarine pigment, not a Cobalt one. Also colours with ‘Azo’, are the cadmium equivalents

Dutch Insight & Vision

Royal Talens brands form a wide consistent product range of artists colour and drawing and sketching accessories. Traditional and modern at the same time, the brands that Talens offer are suitable for both the professional artist and the beginning painter; and always offers high quality art and craft materials at an attractive price, especially the art supplies for kids. Royal Talens is a household name of art & craft materials, mainly focused on fine art materials, which are used across the world professional artists and crafters. However many if their artist supplies are very versatile and can be used for crafting and printmaking. Over the years, a strong position has been gained in the fine art materials marketplace as a product of choice by ceaselessly working upon improvements since its establishment in 1899. Ambitious and innovative, Talens always looks for the ultimate balance between art & craft, expertise and innovation; aiming to encourage people’s creative artistic expression by providing them with the best possible art & craft materials, and relevant informative artists information for their artist materials.

The Old Talens Factory Marten Talens

1899 – The beginning

It was this year that Marten Talens founded the Dutch Factory for Paints, Lacquers and Inks in Apeldoorn (the Netherlands). As a family business it concerned itself initially with the production of office supplies and artists inks.

The Old Rembrandt Logo

1904 -Rembrandt oil colours & watercolour

The arrival of Rembrandt oil colours and watercolours saw the start to the production of a wide range of high-quality artists’ paints. This can be seen in a photo from the 1904 catalogue.

1912 – First expansion of the company

With the ever-increasing production of oil colours and new products the business soon expanded for the first time. Also abroad theRembrandt oil colours, known from the “Dutch farmer”, became a success. Talens set up a sales office in America.

1920 -Further automation of the production of fine art materials

The demand for Talens products continued to grow and in 1920 the company continued to expand and further automated the production. Steam was introduced as the supplier of energy. In the years that followed the company took over a local ink factory and built its own tin plant.

Old set of Rembrandt Pastels

1924 – Introduction of the Rembrandt soft pastels

The company always responded to the needs of the market with the underlying concept of “meeting an as wide as possible range in this sector”. This approach led to the development and launch of the Rembrandt soft pastels. It did not take long for this product to become an international success as well.

Royal Talens Factory

1927 – New office wing in Apeldoorn

In 1927 a new office wing was built, which still stands today at the front of the building. Behind this façade the Royal Talens head office is located. The architect of this characteristic building was Mr P.W. van den Belt. This building is now listed as a historic building and is on the list of the Dutch Historic Buildings Council.

1932 – The emergence of the typewriter ink ribbon

The product range was expanded as a new market opened up: ribbons and carbon for typewriters. Distribution took place through the office stationer’s and the emerging office machine sector for which then stencils and stencil inks were also produced.

1945 – Building up after the war

During the war the production of many products had stopped because the necessary raw materials were simply not available. A stray bomb also caused a great deal of damage to the factory. After 1945 the company combined all its forces to start production again and the company continued to grow once more.

1949 – Designation “Royal”

The high demands Talens had already set itself in 1949 regarding sound and high-quality innovation helped it acquire its “Royal” designation. Royal Talens gives this honourable mention shape in a modern manner.

1955 – Welcomed strong growth

The 1950’s were characterised by enormous growth. In addition to the expansion of factory buildings Talens opened up a new laboratory. Export also became increasingly important. With offices in a number of European countries and agencies in more than 50 countries, Talens products were becoming increasingly available throughout the world.

1963 – New paints

After having joined the Sikkens Group NV in1963 the range received a new boost with the introduction of a great many new products including modern types of paint such as Polymer Colours and ETA. In the mid nineteen seventies Sikkens was taken over by the AKZO group and Talens too became an AKZO subsidiary, until 1991.

1970 – Acrylic, the new paint

The catalogue of the time introduced;a brilliant acrylic (= plastic)-based paint, incorporating the latest chemical innovations; a paint which is an evolution in the area of artists’ paints.

1974 – 75th anniversary

With the celebration of the 75th anniversary a number of art lovers among the Talens staff requested that the management put together a Talens art collection. To this day Royal Talens has been managing this ever-increasing art collection with its aim to stimulate young professional artists.

Amsterdam Expert Acrylic Colours

1976 – Introduction Van Gogh and Amsterdam

The nineteen seventies saw the advent of the phenomenon of marketing. Many changes were made in the range. Van Gogh and Amsterdam were introduced: high-quality paints for amateur painters that catered to a wider target group.

1982 – Introduction Decorfin Hobbycraft paint

For years the Talens range included paint for folk art typical of the Netherlands: for example, a hobby craft paint that was used for the Hindeloopen style and Staphorst stippling technique. This paint, however, was increasingly often used for other more universal purposes/decorations and was re-branded Decorfin: paints and materials with which everyone can create a personal atmosphere in the interior and on numerous objects.

1989 – Large-scale development

Talens; most prestigious new development to date was festively opened by His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard: the new filling and packaging hall. The production takes places here for all kinds if ranges, like mixing mediums and varnishes on the most modern of machines and meets the most stringent of standards.

1991 – Part of Sakura Colour Corperation Japan

Royal Talens became part of the Sakura Color Products Corporation, with its headquarters in Osaka, Japan. Sakura has 1500 staff worldwide and is fully privately owned. The portfolio consists of writing instruments and colouring materials. Sakura offers Royal Talens a solid foundation for expansion and commercial success.

1996 – Talens Polska founded

In the Polish city of Lesko Talens built a factory where a highly complete range of brushes, easels and stretched canvases are now produced according to European standards. In-house production and direct distribution to the branches here, too, guarantees a reliable quality product.

1999 – Expansion of distribution centre

Due to the constant lack of space in the centre of Apeldoorn, Talens moved in 1990 to a new distribution hall on the outskirts of the city. From this location the products are sent to retailers in the Benelux and Germany. The company’s own branches in Europe are also supplied as are more than 90 distributors worldwide.

2002 – Packaging award for new range of pencils

The combination of a knowledge of pigments in artists’ paint with the technique of drawing resulted in an innovative product: colour pencils with a guaranteed lightfastness. It was unique in the market and in 2002 received the Best Packaging Award from the NAMTA for its revolutionary packaging design.

Wooden Box Set of Rembrandt Oil Paint

2004 – New range of Sets and Boxes

Keep what is good and improve where it is possible. This was the challenging principle behind the restyling of the ranges of Rembrandt and Van Gogh artists’ painting sets and boxes. At the heart of the restyling is a clear and visual communication regarding the contents and an atmosphere that prompts artistic creations.

2005 – Introduction of ArtCreation

In addition to the Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Amsterdam brands Royal Talens introduced a new brand, ArtCreation. Specially developed to allow the starting artists achieve their first successes, ArtCreation offers beginners an affordable and reliable basic quality in artists’ products.

2006 – Rembrandt is 400

Rembrandt’s 400th birthday is, of course, also celebrated at Royal Talens. A beautiful CD box with an overview of the life of Rembrandt inside is temporarily given free of charge with a number of Rembrandt de luxe artists’ boxes.

110 years of Royal Talens

Renowned for its paints; Royal Talens celebrated its 110th anniversary on 4 October 2009. The company has grown internationally with strong brands and high-quality art materials that have been made with respect for tradition. The needs of their customers and dealers have always been paramount and that will remain so. Because together we can all make a colourful future as well!

Rembrandt Oil Paint