CLAESZ., Pieter
(b. ca. 1597, Steinfurt, d. 1661, Haarlem)


Oil on wood
Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest

It was long believed that the painter was born in Germany, although archival evidence may suggest that he was probably born in Berchem, near Antwerp. In any case, he spent his entire career in Haarlem. He seems not to have used the surname "Berchem" that was adopted by his son, Nicolaes Berchem. He was an important exponent of the 'ontbijt' or breakfast piece. Known for his subdued, monochromatic palette and his subtle use of light and texture. His later work became more colourful and decorative.