Juan Sánchez Cotán

Spanish, (1560-1627)

Sánchez Cotán was born in the town of Orgaz near Toledo on June 25, 1560. He was a friend and perhaps pupil of Blas de Prado. Stylistically, he falls within the school of El Escorial, with Venetian influence. For approximately twenty years he pursued a successful career in Toledo as a painter, patronized by the cityís aristocracy, painting religious scenes, portraits and still lifes, the latter having a severe naturalism unlike the prevailing artistic style, and having its roots not in contemporary artistic trends but in the Renaissance intellectual currents awakening to a more secular, this-worldly, scientific view of Nature. These paintings found a receptive audience among the educated intellectuals of Toledo society.

In 1603 Cotán abandoned his artistic career and moved to Grenada, where he became a lay brother of the Carthusian Order. The reasons for this are not clear, though such action was not unusual in Cotánís day.

Quince, Cabbage, Melon and Cucumber.

Oil on canvas, 27 1/4 x 33 1/2 inches, though this is misleading because the original painting was slightly wider and less tall, having been cut down by a later owner to fit a favored frame. San Diego Museum of Art.

Spanish Still Life Painters