(b. ca. 1597, Steinfurt, d. 1661, Haarlem)
Dutch still-life painter, born in Germany and active in Haarlem where he settled in 1617. He and Willem Claeasz. 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, Nicholas Berchem became famous as a landscape painter.