Coorte worked in Middelburg, a wealthy maritime city in the southern part of the Netherlands, which fostered a poetic, scientific, and spiritual examination of the natural world. Gooseberries - a modest, local pleasure - could be picked in the wild, although Dutch gardeners in the 1600s were the first to cultivate it to improve its taste. The strong illumination gives the plant a stark grandeur, despite the small scale, and the dark background emphasizes the fruit's delicate translucency. The dessicated flower petals and waxy leaves contrast with the succulent gooseberries, with their skin on the verge of bursting.
Amsterdam, Netherlands (6/19/99 - 9/19/00); CMA (10/3/99 - 1/9/00) "Still-Life Paintings from the Netherlands 1550-1720" cat. no. 75, pp. 277-278.
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (6/29/2003 - 9/28/2003): "Small Wonders: Dutch Still Lifes by Adriaen Coorte"
|-1907||Auguste Coster [d. 1907], Brussels|
|1907||(Le Roy, Brussels, Coster sale, April 4-6, 1907, lot 69, possibly sold to Max Massot)1|
|-1964||Max Massot, Belgium, sold to P. de Boer|
|1964||(Kunsthandel P. de Boer, Amsterdam, sold to Mrs. Wulf, The Hague)2|
|1964-1975||Mrs. Wulf, The Hague, exchanged with P. de Boer for a marine painting by J. van Diest|
|1975||(Kunsthandel P. de Boer, Amsterdam, sold to Johnny Oppenheimer)|
|1975-1986||Johnny Oppenheimer, Tönnersjö, Eldsberga, Sweden, consigned to Charles Roelofsz Gallery, Amsterdam3|
|1986||(Charles Roelofsz Gallery, Amsterdam)|
|1986||(Sam Nijstad, The Hague, and K. Waterman Gallery, Amsterdam, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art)|
|1987-||The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio|
1 attributed to “A. Coorbe" [sic] and is entitled "Groseilles" in the sale catalogue.
2Piet de Boer was an Amsterdam dealer who was a close contact of Hofer, Posse, Lohse, Miedl and other Nazi art agents. There is nothing in this painting's chain of ownership, however, to indicate any dubious World War II-era provenance, nor does the painting appear in any databases of Nazi-looted art or records pertaining to Nazi looting activities.
3Oppenheimer also consigned the painting to P. de Boer in 1984; however, it did not sell and remained in Oppenheimer's possession.
Buvelot, Quentin. The still lifes of Adriaen Coorte (active c.1683-1707): with oeuvre catalogue. The Hague: Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, 2008.
Hilde de Boer-Venverloo, email to Victoria Sears Goldman, May 15, 2013, in CMA curatorial file.