An important pioneer in the field of still-life painting, Clara Peeters is the only Flemish woman known to have specialized in such pictures as early as the first decade of the seventeenth century. While definite details concerning her life are scarce, records indicate that Peeters was baptized in Antwerp in 1594 and married there in 1639. There is no indication that Peeters ever joined the Antwerp painter’s guild, but the records for many relevant years are missing.
Peeter’s earliest dated oil paintings, from 1607 and 1608, are small-scale, detailed images representing food and beverages. The skill with which this young 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 artist was producing large numbers of painstakingly rendered still lifes, typically displaying a group of valuable objects (elaborately decorated metal goblets, gold coins, and exotic flowers) on a narrow ledge, as seen from a low vantage point, against a dark background.
presumed student of Osias Beert
influenced Pieter Claesz
influenced Peter Binoit