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Pieter Claesz - Dutch Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Pieter Claesz (1597 - 1660)

Pieter Claesz was born in Haarlem and developed an early interest in floral painting. Influenced by Flemish painters with similar still-life interest, Ambrosius Bosschaert and Balthasar van der Alst, Claesz began to develop the breakfast or banquet picture, a genre of still-life that’s subdued tones were suitable in domestic interiors. Many later generations of Dutch artists copied his reticent coloring and symbolic compositions. He and Willem Claeszoon Heda, who also worked in Haarlem, were the most important exponents of the "ontbijt" or breakfast piece. They painted with subdued, virtually monochromatic palettes, the subtle handling of light and texture being the prime means of expression. Claesz generally chose objects of a more homely kind than Heda, although his later work became more colourful and decorative. The two men founded a distinguished tradition of still life painting in Haarlem, but Claesz's son, Nicolaes Berchem, became famous as a landscape painter. Claesz's still lifes often suggest allegorical purpose, with skulls serving as reminders of human mortality.

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