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In the Prado Museum presented still lifes of the Netherlands artist-innovator of the XVII century

The Prado National Museum in Madrid presents the exhibition “Art of Clara Peters.” For the first time, an exhibition of a female artist is taking place in this museum: a 17th-century Dutch craftswoman was among the first European painters who specialized in still lifes. One of the few professional artists at the time, Peters worked with taste: looking at “Still Life” Still life is a painting genre focusing on the depiction of the objective world. The name "still life" comes from the French nature morte or Italian natura morta, which translates as "dead nature." In a still life depict inanimate objects, compositionally located in a realistic space. Read further with flowers, a silver cup with gold leaf, almonds, dried fruits, sweets, bread sticks, wine and a tin jug ”and not only.The talent of this exquisite and gifted artist at the exhibition in the Prado Museum show 15 of its forty paintings that have come down to our days.Table with tablecloth, saltcellar, gilded bowl, cake, porcelain plate with black olives and boiled poultryClar Peters1611, 55 × 73 cm

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.

Above: self-portrait self-portraits were written not only by portrait painters. Knowledge of the world through the study of his own image is widespread among the masters of the brush of all time. Read more Portrait is a realistic genre depicting an existing person or group of people. The portrait - in the French reading - portrait, from the old French portraire - "reproduce something line in line." Another facet of the name of the portrait lies in the outdated word "parsuna" - from the Latin. persona - "person; person". Read more Klara Peters in the film “Vanity of Vanities” (c. 1613 - 1620, this work is not presented at the exhibition and presented for informational purposes). Laws and customs of that time did not encourage women to practice painting, and only a few were able to overcome all obstacles and become artists. But even in this case, they were forbidden to make anatomical sketches from live nude models, as a rule, men. Because of this, women had to confine to portraits and still lifes.Still-life with cheese, almonds and pretzels Clara Peters1615, 34.5 × 49.5 cm Clara Peters devoted her career to still lifes, which in the first decades of the XVII century only became an independent genre. This once again underlines its enterprise and ability to think in the future. In addition, the realism inherent in this direction was considered as an alternative to the idealism of the Renaissance traditions.

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)

Still life with fish, a candle, artichokes, crabs and shrimpsClar Peters1611, 50 × 72 cmRead also: 10 incredible stories about famous Renaissance and Baroque artists

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)

Still life with sparrowhater, bird, porcelain, and Clara Peters1611, 52 × 71 cmOne more element that is often present in the paintings of Clara Peters - this is not only portrait painters who wrote self-portraits. Knowledge of the world through the study of his own image is widespread among the masters of the brush of all time. Read more Portrait is a realistic genre depicting an existing person or group of people. The portrait - in the French reading - portrait, from the old French portraire - "reproduce something line in line." Another facet of the name of the portrait lies in the outdated word "parsuna" - from the Latin. persona - "person; person". Read more . The artist’s subtle reflections on the surface of vases and cubes can be found in at least six works in this exhibition. In Still Life with Flowers, a silver cup with gold, almonds, dried fruit, sweets, bread sticks, wine and a tin jug, Peters is reflected in the cup and jug. She is wearing a cap, a round corrugated collar and a long dress with raised shoulders. On other canvases you can see only the head of the artist.

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

The exhibition “Art of Clara Peters” at the Prado National Museum in Madrid will last until February 19, 2017.General view of the exhibition "Art of Clara Peters" in the Prado Museum. Photo: Museo Nacional del PradoAccording to the official website of the Prado Museum. Main illustration: Clara Peters, "Still Life with Flowers, a Gilt Cup, Dried Fruits, Candy, Cookies, Wine and Tin Decanter" (1611)