Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hooch, Pieter de

La cour d'une maison à Delft (The yard of a house in Delft)
oil on canvas
74 x 60 cm
National Gallery, London, UK

Pieter de Hooch (c.1629 - 1684) was a genre painter during the Dutch Golden Age. He was born in Rotterdam, the son of a mason and a midwife. His career as a painter started in Delft. As usual in his day, he had a second string to his bow besides painting: he was an assistant to a linen merchant.

His main characters are women: busy housewives, loving mothers and careful and neat maids. He is an outstanding master of interior. He specialized in decorous interiors with merry companies of people. Views through windows or corridors into other, distant rooms often featured in his work. He depicts enfilades of rooms, intimate and poetic domestic world; gentle sun light penetrates through open doors and windows. He was a contemporary of Dutch Master Jan Vermeer, with whom his work shared themes and style. His colors are warmer and softer than Vermeer’s.