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

Still-Life with a Skull and Writing Quill

Oil on wood, 24 x 36 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The simplicity and directness achieved in this work were gradually distilled by Claesz over a period of several years, in which he could be said to have reached a moment of early maturity. The clarity of light, its suggestion of textures, casting of shadows, and creation of substance and space testify to Claesz's exceptional powers of observation.