Willem Claesz Heda
Willem Claesz Heda Galleries
Dutch painter. He was a still-life painter, who, like Pieter Claesz., is noted for his monochrome breakfast-pieces, which are, however, more opulent than those of Claesz. Heda earliest dated work is a Vanitas (1621; The Hague, Mus. Bredius), which shows a still-life from a high viewpoint, composed of various objects bearing vanitas associations (e.g. a bowl of glowing embers, smoker requisites, an overturned glass and a skull); the colouring is in brownish-grey tones and represents one of the earliest examples of a Dutch monochrome still-life (monochrome refers to the range of tones, rather than of colours). Even in this early work Heda skill at painting textures is evident. A more balanced composition is achieved in another Still-life (1629; The Hague, Mauritshuis) and in the Breakfast Table (1631; Dresden, Gemeldegal. Alte Meister), in both of which the objects, set against a neutral background, are linked by a strong diagonal. The Mauritshuis still-life also gives an early indication of Heda interest in painting the effects of light. In 1631 he became a member of the Haarlem Guild of St Luke (of which he served as deacon on several occasions after 1637).