Motives and Motifs
Motive: Sánchez Cotán motive was to incorporate the baroque style, chiaroscuro, lights and darks, Wikipedia called it: "Caravaggesque Tenebrism" Tenebrism is the given name to his style. Caravaggesque makes a comparison to Caravaggio’s work that emphasized lights and darks. They also called his style “El Escorial” which refers to the palace built by Philip II in the late 1500’s. This was the beginning of the Spanish Baroque architectural style, lights and darks, flat fields of architecture, complemented by areas of great detail.
Motif: Sánchez Cotán, Spanish still life’s, mostly vegetables and fruit hanging from string in a bright candlelight or sunlight, but the contrast is very high. The window frame that used to frame these still lives is geometric, contrasted with the almost grotesque detail on the fruits and vegetables. He also throws artifacts and dead birds and food hanging around. They look like advertisements, perfectly lit and composed, all that is missing is the caption, “Eat your fruits and Vegetables!”