Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Art of Clara Peeters

Museo Nacional del Prado  
10/25/2016 - 2/19/2017
Peeters’s earliest dated oil paintings, from 1607 and 1608, are small-scale, detailed images representing food and beverages. The skill with which this 14-year-old artist executed such pictures indicates that she must have been trained by a master painter. Although there is no documentary evidence of her artistic education, scholars believe that Peeters was a student of Osias Beert, a noted still-life painter from Antwerp.

By 1612, the 18-year-old artist was producing large numbers of painstakingly rendered still lifes, typically displaying groupings of valuable objects, such as elaborately decorated metal goblets, gold coins, and exotic flowers. Her compositions often show these arrangements on narrow ledges, seen from low vantage points, against dark backgrounds.

In the Prado’s

Still Life with Flowers, Gilt Goblet, Almonds, Dried Fruits, Sweets, Biscuits, Wine and a Pewter Flagon (1611)

she appears in a headdress and ruff reflected in the flagon,

while in Still Life with Flowers, Gilt Goblets, Coins and Shells (1612),

from the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Karlsruhe, she holds up her brushes and palette.

Clara Peeters, Table with Cloth, Salt Cellar, Gilt Standing Cup, Pie, Porcelain Plate with Olives and Cooked Fowl (1611). Image courtesy of Museo del Prado.

A still life with Carp in a Ceramic Colander Clara Peeters