Willem Claeszoon Heda Netherlands

12-14-1593 Haarlem, NED – 1-16-1680 Haarlem, NED

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Willem Claeszoon Heda uncle was the painter Cornelis Claesz Heda. Heda’s skill was recognized early on in his career by other notable figures in Haarlem.

Following his support from Samuel Ampzing, Heda became a member of the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke. As evidenced by his signing of a new charter to regularize the affairs of the guild on May 22, 1631, Heda was an active member of the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke.

Following his formative pieces of the 1620s, Willem Claeszoon Heda reached his artistic maturity in the 1630s with pieces such as his 1631 still-life and those of the ‘1639 group’. His coloration and illustration of light in the pieces, combined with fine additive brush strokes, results in an almost unbelievable level of realism.

Heda’s style continued to progress with his pieces of the 1640s this time, he also began to incorporate the crinkled napkin and knocked-over vases to his set of objects. This new set of objects presented a challenge to the artist to maintain cohesion and order in a clearly disordered environment. The 1650s saw the introduction of a wider color-scheme.

Heda’s final years saw the artist begin the transition from the late breakfast still-life paintings he helped create, to the pronk, or display, still-life pieces of Willem Kalf in Amsterdam.

As one of the most recognized Dutch masters and one of the signature artists of the still life genre, his paintings feature in general surveys of art history as some of the highlights of Dutch seventeenth-century painting. Willem Claeszoon Heda is known for his innovation of the late breakfast genre of still life painting.

Movement: Baroque
Influenced: Maerten Boelema de Stomme, Gerret Willemsz Heda, Hendrik Heerschop, Arnold van Beresteijn
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