Since Clara Peters did not have her own historiographer, very little is known about her life. It is assumed that she was born in Antwerp, approximately in 1588 - 1590. Only 11 of her works are dated, and the earliest were written in 1607 - 1608. The peak of creative activity came in the years 1611 - 1612, but it is not known whether the artist continued to write after 1621.
Apparently, Peters had an extraordinary intelligence and foresight. Her works were included in the collections in Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Madrid - this suggests that the woman sought to gain financial benefits from their activities, worked professionally and sold paintings through dealers. In addition, the differences in the style of writing on the panels indicate that she kept her own studio with apprentices.
The exhibition "Art of Clara Peters" presents canvases created between 1611 and 1612. Six of them are borrowed by private collectors, three more by Northern European museums, one by one from Great Britain and the United States, and four are the property of the Prado Museum. These pictures show raw meat and fish, ready-made meals on the tables, table setting, cutlery and other objects. Most of them are luxury items and are written in detail, with accurate display of shapes and textures. The artist conveys a general feeling of moderation with the help of an elegant contrast between brightly lit objects and a dark background.
Left: Clara Peters, "Still Life with Flowers, Gold-Plated Goblets, Coins and Shells" (1612)
These paintings reveal the tastes and habits of the most successful classes. Here you can see foreign products - candied fruit, wine, fruit and fish (Peters was one of the first painters who made fish the main object of still lifes). Of particular interest is the “Still Life with a Sparrowhawk, a Bird, Porcelain and Shells”, where we see a small living hawk next to its dead prey. This is one of the first still lifes on the topic of hunting - an activity traditionally associated with the aristocracy.
Left: Clara Peters, "Still Life with Sweets, Pomegranate, Gilt Cup and Porcelain" (1612)
In Still Life with Flowers, Gilded Wine Glasses, Coins, and Shells, there are at least six selfies Peters. She holds a brush and a palette in her hands, as if upholding her status as a woman artist and forcing the viewer to recognize her existence. These self-portraits also demonstrate a Peters skill level capable of portraying themselves on such a tiny scale.
Left: Clara Peters, a fragment of the painting Still Life with Flowers, Gilded Cups, Coins and Shells (1612) is one of the artist’s face reflections in the right glass