Adriaen Coorte

Adriaen Coorte (1665 – 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”. Adriaen Coorte was a painter of the Baroque. Little is known about the life of the artist specializing in still life. Coorte almost fell into oblivion after almost two hundred years. His work did not enter into public collections until the 20th century.

It is assumed to be an apprenticeship at Melchior de Hondecoeter in Amsterdam. He then worked as a painter in the area of Middelburg between 1685 and 1707. In his early work are depictions with birds and some vanitas paintings. In the later pictures, Coorte preferred to use berries, asparagus or mussels for his still life. In this case, he was usually restricted to a few objects, which are characterized by a near-natural representation. Two thirds of his works were first made on paper and later transferred to wood or canvas, a technique that was rarely used during the artist’s lifetime.

Nothing is known about the life of Adriaen Coorte There is neither a description of the birthplace and date, nor of the date and place of his death. The first known documentary mention of Coortes is in the books of the Lukasgilde of the Dutch City of Middelburg noted for the year 1695 or 1696 Then the guild of the painters imposed a fine against Coorte, because he had tried unauthorized to sell paintings without listening to the guild

After his death, Coorte nearly fell into oblivion for nearly 200 years, and only a few private collectors knew his pictures. His name appeared in this period only in isolated sales documents. In the history of art, Coorte was first mentioned in 1881 by the Frenchman Henry Havard, followed by the Dutch architect Jan Adriaan Frederiks Both owned works by Coorte in their collections and described his works in articles 1903 gave Arnoldus of the Tombe from The Hague to the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Coortes still life with asparagus bundle from 1697, whereby a larger public had the opportunity to look at one of his works The art historian and then Director of the Dordrechts Museum, Laurens J Bol, published a detailed article about the painter in 1952 After a work exhibition dedicated to the artist in the Dordrecht Museum in 1958, where 35 works by Coorte were shown, Bol finally published a mon Ografie about Adriaen Coorte, which included a catalog of well-known paintings On the occasion of a retrospective of Coorté’s works at the Mauritshuis in The Hague, an updated and commented catalog of works by Quentin Buvelot appeared

There are various assumptions about the year of Coorte’s birth. From 1680-83 the art historian Quentin Buvelot from a possible birth year in the period from 1660-1665 from Fred G Meijer of the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie gives as a year of birth ” 1665 “. Art historians also come to the origin of the painter. A document of 1780 gives Vlissingen a place of origin for Vortissingen in the southern part of Spain, while the art historian Arthur K Wheelock sees the area of ​​origin of Adriaen Coorte, according to the records of the art historian Abraham Bredius was the name Adriaen Coorte mentioned in 1665 in Middelburg. In Bredius it could have been the father of the artist. In addition Johan Coorte is a member of the municipality of Sluis in 1659

For Coorté’s work as a painter in the Middelburg area, the fact that his paintings in the 18 th and 19 th centuries are recorded almost exclusively in inventory and auction documents of the province of Zeeland is presumed to be Coorté’s training as a painter at Melchior De Hondecoeter in Amsterdam from 1680 to 1683 The earliest known work Coortes, mountain landscape with ducks from 1683, is copied in parts after paintings by de Hondecoeter His dated works reach as far as the year 1707 Since the well-known total work of the artist only a little more than 100 works , It is unclear whether Coorte could dispense with his livelihood alone or whether he still had another profession. The earliest proof of the auction of a work by Coorte dates from 3 August 1713 Quentin Buvelot considers it possible that Adriaen Coorte At this time, since the death of the painter in the Auk Documentation

After the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam was the first museum to have a Coorte painting in its collection in 1903, it took almost 80 years for writers to deal with the work of the painter. Two Dutch authors were seen as an admirer of Coorté ‘s work in 1981 Lichtval Adriaen Coorte is a poem and refers to paintings with mussel or strawberry motifs in order to rewrite his still-life thoughts with the line “de toekomst bleef even onveranderlijk as nu” (meaning the future remains just as unchanging as the now) Ed Leeflang calls Coorte In his poem Bewoond as ik ben “De schilder van asperges en frambozen”

Coorte limited himself to the representation of few objects in the majority of his paintings. His paintings are characterized by a detailed fine-painting with skilful illumination. Through a particularly natural representation the objects seem almost realistic. However, there are some weaknesses in the perspective. This is especially the case with some of the reproduced ones Steintones and clay vessels clearly

About two thirds of his still life painted coorte on paper During the painting process or directly after completion, he fixed the paper on wood or canvas Although today it is assumed that Coorte did this work himself, some evidence speaks that the transmission on canvas or wood possibly Only in the 18 th or 19 th century, especially since this so-called Marouflé technique was only rarely used in the 17 th and 18 th century. Restoration of the painting made in 1693-95 Two peaches with a butterfly came after separation of the paper from the backing on the back of the paper An old bill to the extent Possibly used coorts also with other paintings waste paper as a painting In the restoration of three further pictures in the year 2007 also small holes in the paper could be discovered, which indicate the fixing of the paper during the painting process

Coorté’s well-known œuvre is relatively small with a little more than 60 signed works. Together with some pictures, which are only known from older descriptions, Bol came to a total of 109 works by the artist in his catalog of works from 1977. The pictures are mostly dated and date from the years 1683 to 1707, The majority being produced between 1696 and 1705. All these images show still life, almost invariably with fruits, vegetables, mussels or some vanitas still life against a dark background

The exceptions include three early birds with poultry motifs in a landscape. In addition to the coort, the painting A Hen with Chickens dated 1682/1683, belongs to this group, the works of the duke and pelican and ducks, signed and signed by the artist in the year 1683 (The Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam) almost unchanged in Coorté’s picture of pelican and ducks in a mountain landscape. In 1699, Coorte took up the position of the pelican and three ducks from De Hondecoeter And a picture of De Hondecoeter’s birds in a park from 1686. In the still life with asparagus, a branch of gooseberries, a bowl of strawberries and a hoopoe in the background, the hoopoe is a copy from de Hondecoeter’s birds in a park from 1686 (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam)

The artist’s early work includes three well-known Vanitas still lifes, which emerged between 1686 and 1688. The subject of transience – typical of Dutch Baroque still life – is the subject of coords in these pictures by the addition of symbolic objects. In the Vanitas still life (private collection) A dead skull and an hourglass In addition, an oil lamp points to the waning time In the Vanitas still life of 1687, it is next to a skull a candle that points to the finiteness of life. The vanitassill life in a niche of 1688 again shows skull and oil lamp The painter also includes a pocket watch as a symbol of the passing time. Other props such as a pipe or a dancing master stand for the volatility of the smoke or the rapidly fading music, both indications of the passing time

Coortes still life are often arranged on a corner of a pedestal or a plate made of stone, partly it shows them in a niche. Such stone slabs – also window frames – were already used by Dutch artists like Pieter Claesz or Karel Slabbaert as the stand of their still life objects Often with a notch or a crack, which further emphasizes the theme of the transience of still life motifs. He also used the edge of the stone as a placement for his signature, which sometimes appears as A Coorte, sometimes only with AC

In contrast to the complex floral and fruit compositions of his contemporary painters, such as the Ambrosius Bosschaert or Balthasar van der Ast, who worked in Middelburg, Coorte chose a reduction to a few objects in his pictures and shows a more motive relationship to the works of Spanish painters such as Juan Sánchez Cotán or Francisco de Zurbarán His as simple as yet arranged still life often lacks any ornamental accessories. For example, Coortes shows the smallest executed work, the only postcard-large still life with two walnuts, the two nuts approximately in original size and otherwise only the stone slab as a base

Remarkable is the repetition of certain motifs Vegetables can be found in his work next to some artichokes exclusively Asparagus In as many as 13 pictures, the latter always appears to be a bundle. Coorte’s strawberries are more often present in his pictures, a motif that he may have previously seen (1820). Most of the depictions of strawberries in Coorté’s pictures are shown in a bowl of clay, in three motifs clearly of Chinese origin. These bowls are richly filled and are often decorated with a flowering drive of a strawberry plant Or vessels of silver are missing in the work of Coortes as well as precious glasses This becomes all the more clear in the comparison of Coorté ‘s pictures to possible examples of his subjects. So a cluster of asparagus and a bowl of strawberries are also found in a painting by Isaac van Duynen Precious glass cup E (Michaelis Collection, Cape Town) There are also great differences between Pieter Claesz’s 16-minute breakfast (Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam) and the breakfast break from Coorte dating back to 1697. In both pictures, a small piece of fish is sold On a plate as well as a glass vessel. While Coortes glass is very simple and hardly emerges from the half-dark, the glass of Claesz shows elaborate embellishments and stands in direct light. Even more striking is the difference in the two plates: Coorte chose a simple wooden plate , While Claesz is sitting on a silver platter. In addition, Claesz draped his still life on a table with a white ceiling instead of a simple stone slab

Other fruit in Coorté ‘s pictures are grapes, gooseberries, cherries, peaches, apricots, currants, orange and medlar. On the other hand, apples and pears are missing in his paintings. In addition to the walnut motif Coorte also painted pictures with hazelnuts or chestnuts In a picture he added a dragonfly. These insects may have an allegorical meaning and could be for rebirth, immortality or resurrection. Seven paintings Coortes are reserved for the muschelmotiv Only in one of these pictures is a mussel (Euspira nitida) as seen in his Home Zeeland to the North Sea to find All other mussels are imports, as they came with the Dutch East India Company or the Dutch West Indies Company to the Netherlands and there for high prizes found in miracle chambers and other collections These treasures painted before Coorte 1630 be Reits of Balthasar van der Ast and Rembrandt’s etchings, etchings with such mussel motifs are also present. However, Coorté’s lifetime was marked by a series of 38 etchings by the copper technician Wenzel Hollar, which show detailed mussels in a simple white background

Works in public collections:
Pelican and ducks in a mountain landscape, 1683, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Vanitassill living in a niche, 1688, Zeeuws Museum, Middelburg
Still life with a branch of gooseberries, 1693, picture gallery of old masters (permanent loan of a private collection), Kassel
Still life with asparagus and artichoke, around 1693-95, Kurpfälzisches Museum, Heidelberg
Still life with a bowl of strawberries, 1696, Mauritshuis (permanent loan of a private collection), The Hague
Still life with hazelnuts, 1696, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Still life with shells, 1696, Louvre, Paris
Still life with mussels (counterpart to the aforementioned), 1696, Louvre, Paris
Still life with asparagus and a branch of red currants, 1696, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Still life with a bowl of strawberries, 1697, Hermitage, Saint Petersburg
Still life with asparagus, 1697, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Still life with four apricots, 1698, Mauritshuis (permanent loan of a private collection), The Hague
Still life with asparagus, a bowl of strawberries and a branch of gooseberries, 1698, Dordrecht’s Museum, Dordrecht
Still life with asparagus, 1699, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Still life with a branch of gooseberries, 1699, Mauritshuis (permanent loan of a private collection), The Hague
Still life with a branch of gooseberries, 1701, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland
Still life with a branch of gooseberries, 1702, Chi-Mei Museum, Tainan (Taiwan)
Still life with two walnuts, 1702, Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest
Still life with asparagus, a branch of gooseberries, a bowl of strawberries and other fruits in a niche, 1703, Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp
Still life with asparagus, 1703, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Still life with strawberries in a Chinese bowl (Ming Dynasty), 1704, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
Still life with five apricots, 1704, Mauritshuis, The Hague
Still life with strawberries, 1705, Mauritshuis, The Hague
Still life with grapes, 1705, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam
Still life with three peaches, 1705, Mauritshuis (permanent loan of a private collection), The Hague