CORTE, Gabriel de la
(b. 1648, Madrid, d. 1694, Madrid)

Biography

Spanish painter. He was, together with Bartolomé Pérez, the most important painter of flowers in Madrid during the reign of Charles II (1665-1700). However, unlike his rival, it appears that De la Corte did not enjoy the distinction of royal patronage. His earliest biographer, Antonio Palomino, who could have known the artist in his later years, writes that he was reduced to earning his living by selling his works on the open market and that he died in poverty in 1694. He was a highly prolific artist, a fact that is reflected by the large numbers of flower paintings by his hand known today. Although his works were popular among collectors of his time, his evident facility in his chosen genre of painting may have led him to overproduce and undersell his works. In contrast to his unfortunate professional circumstances, his flower pieces are exuberant, effusive works that exemplify the important decorative role that flower paintings had assumed by the latter part of the 17th century.