About this artwork
The very few still lifes by Juan Sánchez Cotán depict commonplace foodstuffs in shallow niches whose dark interiors evoke the pantries (0bodegones) of Spanish homes. Here the produce on the ledge and the quince, cabbage, and game birds hanging above appear precisely arranged in almost mathematical harmony.
This work is the earliest European still life in the Art Institute’s collection. Sánchez Cotán stopped creating these austere compositions after 1603, when he dedicated himself to working at the Cistercian monastery of Granada. The artist’s work was only rediscovered in the 20th century, in part through the efforts of August L. Mayer (1885–1944), a German scholar who helped reawaken critical interest in Spanish art and who once owned this painting.
- Juan Sánchez Cotán
- Still Life with Game Fowl
- Oil on canvas
- 67.8 × 88.7 cm (26 11/16 × 34 15/16 in. )
- Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Leigh B. Block