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Aspergus from Coorte

Asperges van Coorte - Lyklema Fine Art

This work by Coorte hangs in the Rijksmuseum and is a masterpiece due to its detail and color nuances. Still lifes were not highly regarded in painting because they were history paintings, but they do have great art historical significance. In the 1950s, still lifes regained a place in various museums and are now popular in the art trade. The Rijksmuseum now has 230 still lifes in its collection. Painting a still life allows a painter to focus on composition and the use of color. Life literally stands still for a moment. Nuances between the lightest and darkest parts create shadows and tonal values, allowing the artist to demonstrate his skills. In the 17th century it was mainly about the expression of the material and bringing the motionless, careful composition to life, in which the exuberant display of abundance proves essential. Sometimes the objects symbolize something else. Flower still lifes are often a symbol for transience. Not so the works on our site by Rueter and Hessel de Boer, which are made more in the tradition of admiration for creation. Yet still life painters were also reviled for lacking depth. The kitchen piece or table are also common. You also see these subjects recurring in contemporary works. Consider, for example, the works of Gubbels and Van Velde.

Coorte created many small still lifes with an intimate character due to the many nuances. The simple subjects – asparagus or berries – stood out sharply against the large showy still lifes that were fashionable in the 17th century. Coorte is a master in the refined rendering of a single vegetable. It is sober because of the black background, sleek because of the plinth on which the asparagus lie and perfectly lit. It has been meticulously painted by applying the colors layer by layer. The lilac of the unpeeled asparagus and the many shades of creamy white. The beauty of nature at its best. Coorte was a Zeelander and probably lived in Middelburg or Vlissingen. That's why we chose Asparagus with Zeeland lobster for this recipe.


Asparagus with lobster and foie gras

8 white asparagus AA (1150 gr.)
Raw goose liver
2 Oosterschelde lobsters
Court Bouillon of 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar and bouget garni
Asparagus cream based on a roux with poultry stock and finished with cream

How to prepare:

  • Boil the peeled asparagus until al dente with some salt
  • Make a thickened cream soup from the peels using a 'roux'
  • Boil the lobsters in a court bouillon and let them cool outside the refrigerator
  • Make an asparagus cream (soup) with the peels and tips
  • Cut the foie gras into very thin slices and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper.
  • Take a black plate and place the cream layer by layer, the asparagus tied with chives.
  • Place the next layer on top: the pieces of lobster and then the foie gras.

The beauty of nature at its best.

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