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

Vase of Flowers

-
Oil on canvas, 63 x 83 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

This magnificent belongs to a set of six works of the same type, now all in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. It is assumed that they once formed part of the decoration of a convent or chapel. In their original context, these flower-pieces are likely to have been regarded as images of the natural world that lifted up the spirits of viewers in praise of its Creator. The figures of excited cherubs bearing flowers and fruit that are embossed on the wide gilded bowls emphasise the religious message.

The bowls are filled with a dense arrangement of flowers and the blooms occupy the pictorial field in a manner that is characteristic of De la Corte's compositional horror vacui in his flower paintings. The abundance of blooms and tempestuous vitality of these are also typical qualities of his flower-pieces.