Willem Heda was born c. 1593 in Haarlem, the Netherlands. After painting a few portraits and religious works, he began to specialize in still-life painting. Together with Pieter Claesz, he was the great painter of laden tables or the remains of a meal.
His works are to be found in nearly all the museums of Europe. Heda occasionally painted rare materials and aristocratic, sumptuous compositions but he preferred the table settings of bourgeois homes. He is rightly celebrated as a painter of "monochrome" still lifes that owe their effect to refinement of values, half tones and transparent glazes on a single color. He died in 1680 in Haarlem.
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