Pieter Claesz
Dutch, 1597-1660
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Collected by a major museum
Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields
Exhibitions
2015
Du sollst dir (k)ein Bild machen,
Berliner Dom
Asia > Amsterdam,
Rijksmuseum

One of the most important Dutch still-life painters of the 17th century, Pieter Claesz pioneered tabletop still lifes, depicting carefully composed meals that included breads, fruits, and wines. Claesz’s simple compositions are noted for bringing a remarkable presence to familiar items, capturing their rich textures, three-dimensional forms, and the play of light on surfaces. Claesz often included memento mori in his paintings, as in Vanitas (1656), in which a skull and bone are represented alongside an overturned chalice, burning incense, and script music, inviting viewers to reflect upon mortality and the passing of time.

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