coorte

Adriaan Coorte, Vanitas, 1688

Adriaen Coorte (ca. 1665 – after 1707) was a Dutch Golden Age painter of still lifes, who signed works between 1683 and 1707. He painted small and unpretentious still lifes in a style more typical of the first half of the century, and was “one of the last practitioners of this intimate category”.

Very little is known of his life, but he is assumed to have been born and died in Middelburg. He became a pupil of Melchior d’Hondecoeter around 1680 in Amsterdam. From 1683 he seems to have returned to Middelburg, where he set up a workshop and signed his small, carefully balanced minimalist still lifes. He often painted on paper that was glued to a wooden panel. About 80 signed works by him have been catalogued, and nearly all of them follow the same pattern; small arrangements of fruits, vegetables, or shells on a stone slab, lit from above, with the dark background typical of still lifes earlier in the century. Instead of the Chinese or silver vessels favoured by his contemporaries, his tableware is very basic pottery. “Objects and light are studied intensely, and are painted with a wondrous tenderness”. Neither his birth nor death date is certain, and archival evidence only exists in Middelburg for his membership in the Guild of St. Luke there from 1695 onwards, when he was fined for selling a painting without being a member of the guild. His works appear frequently in contemporary Middelburg taxation inventories.

His paintings have been compared to Spanish Bodegones, but he may also have been influenced by older painters

The term bodega in Spanish can mean “pantry”, “tavern”, or “wine cellar”. The derivative term bodegón is an augmentative that refers to a large bodega, usually in a derogatory fashion. In Spanish art, a bodegón is a still life painting depicting pantry items, such as victuals, game, and drink, often arranged on a simple stone slab, and also a painting with one or more figures, but significant still life elements, typically set in a kitchen or tavern. It also refers to low-life or every day objects, which can be painted with flowers, fruits, or other objects to display the painter’s mastery

Adriaen Coorte, Still Life with Asparagus and Red Currants
Nat. Gallery of Art (1696)

Adriaen Coorte (ca. 1665 – after 1707) was a Dutch Golden Age painter of still lifes, who signed works between 1683 and 1707. He painted small and unpretentious still lifes in a style more typical of the first half of the century, and was “one of the last practitioners of this intimate category”.

His paintings have been compared to Spanish Bodegones, but he may also have been influenced by older painters.