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Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

256: A bundle of asparagus

Obsessed with asparagus, Coorte portrayed bundles of this expensive but locally grown delicacy many times. Using various artistic devices (dramatic spot lighting, plain dark background, forward placement), he creates a brilliant illusion of reality and elevates his humble and unusual subject to high art. Anglo- Welsh painter Frank Brangwyn loved the sensual qualities of Dutch still lifes: ‘A flower, a melon, all things are sensual […] And to a true painter, these things move one, they do something which urges [and] excites one to paint […] The joy of squeezing out of the tube a bit of juicy yellow or green […] All this is what I call sensual.’

Adriaen Coorte (1659/64 –1707)

Middelburg, Netherlands, 1703 Oil on canvas

Given by Frank Brangwyn, 1943 (2575)

A bundle of asparagus Buy a print
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