Clara Peeters (1594-1657, Flemish)

Clara Peeters Self-Portrait 1610

Clara Peeters
Self-Portrait
1610

Clara Peeters (1594-1657, Flemish) was a Baroque painter of still lifes. She is perhaps the earliest woman painter of the Dutch Golden Age. Not much is known about her life, but she was baptized in Antwerp in 1594 and married in 1639.  She painted her first work at age 14 in 1608.  It is believed that she was influenced by Osias Beert.  Clara Peeters is known for her meticulous detail, often inserting small self-portraits within the reflections in the paintings.  Food and flowers were the primary subjects of most of her works and they often included religious symbolism.  For example, in her painting Still Life of Fish and Cat the fish is a symbol of Christ and is positioned as if it is a cross. The cat, of course, is a symbol of temptation/evil.  The work is so well painted that it’s as if the cat’s fur can be touched and the reflections give it added depth and the illusion of space.

 

Still Life of Cat and Fish, Clara Peeters, cat art

Still Life of Fish and Cat

 

 

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