Pieter de Hooch

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Musical Party in a Courtyard (1677)

Pieter de Hooch (Dutch: [ˈpitər də ɦoʊx], also spelled "Hoogh" or "Hooghe"; December 20, 1629 (baptized) – March 24, 1684 (buried)) was a Dutch Golden Age painter famous for his genre scenes of quiet domestic scenes with a few figures. He was a contemporary of Jan Vermeer, with whom his work shares themes and style.

Biography[edit]

De Hooch was born in Rotterdam to Hendrick Hendricksz de Hooch, a bricklayer, and Annetge Pieters, a midwife. He was the eldest of five children and outlived all of his siblings. He studied art in Haarlem under the landscape painter Nicolaes Berchem. Beginning in 1650, he worked as a painter and servant for a linen-merchant and art collector named Justus de la Grange. His service for the merchant required him to accompany him on his travels to The Hague, Leiden, and Delft, to which he eventually moved. It is likely that de Hooch handed over most of his works to la Grange during this period in exchange for board and other benefits, as this was a common commercial arrangement for painters at the time, and a later inventory recorded that la Grange possessed eleven of his paintings.

De Hooch was married in Delft in 1654 to Jannetje van der Burch, by whom he fathered seven children. While in Delft, de Hooch is also believed to have learned from the painters Carel Fabritius and Nicolaes Maes, who were early members of the Delft School. He became a member of the painters' guild of Saint Luke in 1655, and had moved to Amsterdam by 1661.

The early work of de Hooch was mostly composed of scenes of soldiers in stables and taverns, though he used these to develop great skill in light, color, and perspective rather than to explore an interest in the subject matter. After starting his family in the mid-1650s, he switched his focus to domestic scenes, merry company scenes and family portraits. His work showed astute observation of the mundane details of everyday life while also functioning as well-ordered morality tales. These paintings often exhibited a sophisticated and delicate treatment of light similar to those of Vermeer, who lived in Delft at the same time as de Hooch. 19th-century art historians had assumed that Vermeer had been influenced by de Hooch's work, but the opposite is now believed.

Though he began to paint for wealthier patrons in Amsterdam, he lived in the poorest areas of the city. Around this time, de Hooch's painting style became coarser and darker in color, and his simple domestic scenes were replaced by highly decorated images set in palatial halls and country villas. Most scholars believe that de Hooch's work after around 1670 became more stylized and deteriorated in quality. It may be that his distress (at age 38, with a young family) at the death of his wife in 1667 affected his work. In any case, his health was now deteriorating, and he died in 1684 in an Amsterdam insane asylum, though the direct cause of his admission there is unknown.

Works[edit]

Woman Drinking with Soldiers, 1658, Louvre Museum
A Couple Walking in the Citizens' Hall of Amsterdam Town Hall (aka Départ pour la promenade) – c. 1663–65 oil on canvas, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg

There are currently 84 paintings attributed to de Hooch:

  • Arrière-cour d'une maison hollandaise – 1650–75. Louvre, Paris [1]
  • The Asparagus Vendor – 1675–80 (canvas). Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • The Bedroom – c. 1658-60 (canvas). National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. [2]
  • A Boy Bringing Bread – c. 1663 (canvas). The Wallace Collection, London [3]
  • Card Players - 1658 (canvas). The Royal Collection, Windsor
  • Card Players in an Opulent Interior (French: Joueurs de cartes dans un riche intérieur) - 1663–65 (canvas). Louvre, Paris [4]
  • Card Players at a Table – c. 1670–74 (canvas)
  • Children in a Doorway, with 'Colf' Sticks – c. 1658–60 (panel)
  • Couple in the Morning – 1665 (canvas)
  • Couple with a Parrot – c. 1675 (canvas). Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne
  • A Couple with Musicians in a Hall - 1663-65 (canvas)
  • Courtyard of a Dutch House – 1658 (oil)
  • The Courtyard of a House in Delft – 1658 (canvas). National Gallery, London [5]
  • Courtyard with Lady and Serving Maid – c. 1660-63 (canvas)
  • Family Portrait on a Terrace – 1667 (canvas)
  • Figures Drinking in a Courtyard – 1658 (canvas on panel)
  • Game of Skittles - c. 1665 (oil)
  • Garden Scene with Woman Holding a Glass of Wine, and a Child – c. 1658–60
  • Guardroom with Smiling Officer, Fluteplayer, and Soldiers – ???? (panel)
  • Interior of a Dutch House – c. 1658 (oil)
  • Interior of the Burgomasters' Council Chamber in the Amsterdam Town Hall, with Visitors – c. 1663–65 (canvas)
  • Interior with a Young Couple – c. 1660–65 (canvas). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York [6]
  • A Man Offering a Woman a Glass of Wine – c.1650–55 (panel)
  • A Man Reading a Letter to Woman – c. 1670–74 (canvas)
  • A Man with Dead Birds, and Other Figures, in a Stable – c. 1655 (oil on oak). National Gallery, London [7]
  • Merry Company – c. 1663–65 (canvas)
  • Merry Company with a Man and Two Women – c. 1668–70 (canvas)
  • A Merry Company with Two Men and Two Women – c. 1657–58 (panel)
  • The Merry Drinker – c. 1650 (panel)
  • The Minuet – ???? (canvas)
  • Mother and Child with a Serving Woman Sweeping – c. 1655–57 (panel)
  • Mother and Child with a Serving Woman Sweeping – ???? (canvas)
  • A Mother and Child with Its Head in Her Lap – c. 1658–60 (canvas)
  • Mother and Child with Schoolboy Descending a Stair – 1668
  • Mother and Infant with Maidservant and a Child – c. 1663–65 (canvas)
  • Music Party in a Hall, A – c. 1663–65 (canvas)
  • A Musical Party in a Courtyard – 1677 (oil on canvas). National Gallery, London [8]
  • Musical Party on a Terrace, with the Town Hall – c. 1667 (canvas)
  • Musical Party, A – 1674 (canvas)
  • An Officer and a Woman Conversing, Soldier at the Window – c. 1663–65 (canvas)
  • A Party of Figures Around a Table – c.1663–65 (canvas)
  • Paying the Hostess – mid-1670s (canvas). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York [9]
  • Portrait of a Family in a Courtyard in Delft – 1657–60 (oil on canvas)
  • Portrait of a Family Making Music – 1663 (canvas)
  • Portrait of the Jacott-Hoppesack Family – c. 1670 (canvas)
  • Saint Peter Liberated from Prison – c. 1650–55 (panel)
  • Seated Couple with a Standing Woman in a Garden, A – c. 1663–65 (canvas)
  • Seated Soldier with a Standing Serving Woman, A – c. 1652–55 (panel)
  • Soldier with an Empty Glass and a Serving Woman, A – c.1650–55 (panel)
  • Soldier, Woman, and Messenger – c. 1654–57
  • Soldiers and Serving Woman with Card Players – c. 1665 (oil on canvas)
  • Soldiers Playing Cards - 1657-58 (panel)
  • Soldiers with a Flute Player and a Serving Woman – ???? (panel)
  • Sportsman and a Lady, A – 1684 (canvas)
  • Standing Woman Holding an Infant, with a Woman Beside a Candle – ???? (canvas)
  • Trac-Trac Players – c. 1652–55 (oil on panel)
  • Two Couples Embracing – c. 1673–75 (canvas)
  • Two Soldiers and a Serving Woman with Trumpeter – c. 1650–55 (panel)
  • Two Soldiers and a Woman Drinking in a Courtyard – c. 1658–60 (canvas)
  • Two Women and a Child in a Courtyard – c. 1657–58 (oil on panel)
  • Two Women and a Man Making Music – 1667
  • Two Women Beside a Linen Chest, with a Child – 1663 (canvas)
  • Two Women in a Courtyard – c. 1657–60 (canvas)
  • Woman and a Young Man with a Letter, A – 1670 (canvas). Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam [10]
  • Woman and Child in a Bleaching Ground, A – c. 1657–59 (canvas)
  • Woman and Child in an Interior – c. 1658 (canvas)
  • Woman and Child with a Parrot – 1673
  • A Musical Conversation – 1674. Honolulu Museum of Art [11]
  • A Woman and her Maid in a Courtyard – c. 1660–61 (canvas). National Gallery, London [12]
  • Woman Carrying a Bucket and Broom in a Courtyard – ???? (canvas)
  • Woman Drinking with Soldiers (French: La Buveuse) – 1658. Louvre, Paris [13]
  • A Woman drinking with Two Men, and a Maidservant – 1658 (oil on canvas). National Gallery, London [14]
  • Woman Feeding a Parrot, with a Man and Serving Woman – ???? (canvas)
  • Woman Lacing Her Bodice Beside a Cradle – c. 1661–63 (canvas)
  • Woman Nursing an Infant, with a Child and a Dog – c. 1658–60 (canvas), in San Francisco
  • A Woman Peeling Apples, with a Small Child – c. 1663 (canvas). Wallace Collection, London [15]
  • A Woman Preparing Bread and Butter for a Boy - c. 1660-1663, in the Getty Center, Los Angeles [16]
  • Woman Preparing Vegetables – ???? (panel)
  • Woman Reading a Letter by a Window – 1664 (canvas). Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
  • Woman Reading a Letter, and a Man at a Window, A – c. 1668–70 (canvas on panel)
  • Woman Reading, with a Child, A – c. 1660–63 (canvas)
  • Woman Receiving a Letter from a Man, A – c. 1668–70 (canvas on panel)
  • Woman with a Baby in Her Lap, and a Small Child, A – 1658 (panel)
  • Woman with a Basket in a Garden, A – c. 1651 (canvas)
  • Woman with a Lute and a Man with a Flute, A – ???? (canvas)
  • Woman Weighing Coins – c. 1664 (canvas). Kaiser Friedrich Museum-Verein, Berlin
  • Wounded Man – c. 1667 (canvas)

Sources[edit]

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