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Adriaen Coorte (active c. 1683-1707)

Adriaen Coorte specialised in small paintings displaying vegetables, fruit or shells on a stone plinth. His simple compositions are always very carefully worked out. His oeuvre contains more than 100 similarly subtle still lifes.

Little is known of Coorte’s life, not even the years of his birth and death. Nothing is known about his training either, though it is possible that he was a pupil of the Amsterdam bird painter Melchior d’Hondecoeter, since two of Coorte’s early paintings contain elements borrowed from d’Hondecoeter’s compositions.

We may deduce from the dates on Coorte’s paintings that he was active from 1683 to 1707. He probably lived in Middelburg, where in 1695-96 he was fined by the painters’ guild for the unauthorised sale of a painting. Furthermore, his works appear with remarkable frequency in Middelburg inventories.