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Still Life with Game Fowl

Still life painting of dead waterfowl and vegetables in windowsill.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Still life painting of dead waterfowl and vegetables in windowsill.




Juan Sánchez Cotán
Spanish, 1560–1627

About this artwork

The very few still lifes by Juan Sánchez Cotán depict commonplace foodstuffs in shallow niches whose dark interiors evoke the pantries (bodegones) 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.


On View, Gallery 211


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Juan Sánchez Cotán


Still Life with Game Fowl


Spain (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


67.8 × 88.7 cm (26 11/16 × 34 15/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Leigh B. Block

Reference Number


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