Pieter Claesz

Dutch 🇳🇱 1597 - 1660

Pieter Claesz was a Dutch Golden Age painter renowned for his still-life paintings. Born in 1597 in Berchem, near Antwerp, Belgium, he moved to Haarlem, where he significantly influenced the development of the still life genre. Claesz is best known for his ‘ontbijt’ or breakfast pieces, characterized by their subdued monochromatic palettes and the exquisite play of light on simple meals set near the corner of a table. His works often convey allegorical themes, with a focus on the transience of life, as seen in his vanitas paintings.

Claesz's innovative approach to still life, particularly his use of a monochromatic palette and the subtle play of light and texture, helped establish a distinct tradition of still life painting in Haarlem alongside Willem Claesz Heda. His work is celebrated for its simplicity, atmospheric quality, and the delicate handling of objects to evoke deeper meanings.