1602. Oil on canvas, 68 x 88.2 cm.
This still life shows the inside of a cupboard. On the shelf are a group of birds consisting of two serins, two goldfinches and two sparrows on a cane, as well as three carrots, two radishes, and a large white thistle that closes the composition. Hanging from the upper sill are three lemons, seven apples, a goldfinch, a sparrow and two red partridges. The composition is outstanding for its sobriety, intimacy and intensity. Those characteristics are emphasized by the lateral light that produces large shadows, creating a perfect and fully realistic illusion characteristic of still lifes painted by Cotán, which became the prototypes of Spanish still lifes. This work was painted for Juan de Salazar, a miniaturist at El Escorial and the executor or Sánchez Cotán's will. It belonged to the Infante Sebastián Gabriel (1811-1875), from whom it was confiscated in 1835. It then entered the Trinity Museum but was returned to the Infante's heirs some years later, remaining with them until 1991, when it was acquired by the Prado Museum with funds from the Villaescusa legacy and profits from the Velázquez exhibition (1991).