Clara Peeters

Clara Peeters

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Little is known about the life of Clara Peeters. Her name suggests that she is of Dutch descent, but art historians believe that her style can be qualified as Flemish.

Peeters specialized in still lifes with beautiful objects, delicious fruits, exotic flowers and precious food. Most of her works can be cataloged as a flower, banquet or breakfast piece, and within the still life genre she used various painting techniques, from very thin to pasty painted layers of paint.

She was very adept at distinguishing textures, which can be seen clearly in her work Still life with fish and cat. As far as is known, Peeters was the first painter to paint fish still lifes.

The work she made in 1611 and 1612 shows a mature style reminiscent of that of Osias Beert, but the light effect on her own paintings is better developed. The mastery with which the artist painted her previously small-scale, detailed images shows that she must have been trained by a master.

There is no proof that Peeters has been a member of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke; the documents of the relevant years have been lost.

On the back of one of her works is a seal of the Guild of Saint Luke from Antwerp, but this may also mean that she has reused a panel belonging to someone else. In 1657 she completed her last still life, of which the current whereabouts are unknown. Also this is the last thing we know about her, the place and date of her death are also unknown.

As a successful artist, she worked on behalf of wealthy art collectors, as the iconography of her work shows. Her larger-than-normal work, depicting expensive objects such as coins and jewelry, was found in private art collections of affluent persons and later ended up in museums, such as the Prado, which owns four works, and the Mauritshuis.

The latter museum acquired the painting Still Life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels from an American collector who paid $ 2,900,000 for it in 2012.

Clara Peeters

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