Born in 1597 or 1598 in Burgsteinfurt, Westphalia; buried Oct. 1, 1661, in Haarlem. Dutch painter.
Claesz worked in Haarlem. His “breakfast pieces,” or paintings of table settings, are noted for their simplicity of composition and modest subjects—for example, an earthenware pitcher, a herring, a glass, a quince, or a pipe. Claesz was the first master of still-life painting to value the monochromatic style and the rendering of the ambience of light and air. He recognized the importance of these devices in expressing the unity of objects and their environment.