Claesz, Pieter
Dutch, 1596/1597 - 1660


Pieter Claesz was born between 1596 and 1597 in Berchem, a village near Antwerp. Almost nothing is known of his early years, including the names of his parents or the identity of his teacher. Around 1621 Claesz moved to Haarlem, a major Dutch city that was home to many distinguished artists, among them several still-life painters who benefited from the patronage of the town's wealthy citizens. Claesz's innovative manner of painting tabletop still lifes soon gained recognition. Leading families of Haarlem acquired his paintings, displaying them prominently in their homes. Claesz was a prolific painter who signed most of his pictures with the monogram PC. He died in 1660. Claesz's son, Nicolaes Pietersz Berchem, became an important landscape artist in the mid-1600s. (From the press release for the 2005 NGA exhibition Pieter Claesz: Master of Haarlem Still Life)

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