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Juan Sánchez Cotán

  • Juan Sánchez Cotán © The Bridgeman Art Library

    Juan Sánchez Cotán © The Bridgeman Art Library






Date of birth

Jun 25, 1560

Date of death


" Painter and the first of the Spanish still life artists, whose paintings of this genre have been conserved."

Born in Orgaz (Toledo) in 1560, Juan was baptised in the parish church at his hometown on 25 June 1560 and lived and died in Toledo. Sánchez Cotán might have been a disciple of Blas de Prado, painter who enjoyed the distinction of being the first documented Spanish still life artist, though works in this genre have yet to be located. Part of his family lived in Orgaz; his brother Alonso Sánchez Cotán, a sculptor, his two artist children, Alonso, a sculptor and assembly worker, a Damián, the gilder and stew-maker, lived in Alcázar de San Juan. A central event in the life of Sánchez Cotán occurred when he decided to abandon Toledo at age 43 to take vows as a Carthusian. In September 1604, he became a brother of the Carthian Order in Granada, where he lived until his death in 1627.

Essential works

  • ‘Still Life with Game Fowl, Vegetables and Fruits’ © Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

    Still Life with Game, Vegetables and Fruit

    The exaltation of the simplicity of everyday objects which characterises this work is a feature of the still lifes of Sánchez Cotán, and was one of the first to be painted in all Europe.

    Prado Museum (Madrid)

    More info
  • Still life with thistle. Granada Museum of Fine Arts © Ministerio de Cultura

    Still Life with Thistle

    The museum’s masterpiece is this still life painted by Sánchez Cotán. This is the most solemn and sensitive of all the works in this style.

    Granada Museum of Fine Arts (Granada)

    More info

Other highlighted works

  • Brígida del Río, la barbuda de Peñaranda
  • Bodegón de calabaza y coles
  • Virgen despertando al niño
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