A Woman Peeling Apples

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A Woman Peeling Apples
Pieter de Hooch - Woman Peeling Apples - WGA11704.jpg
ArtistPieter de Hooch
Year1663 (1663)
Dimensions67 cm × 55 cm (26 in × 22 in)
LocationWallace Collection, London

A Woman Peeling Apples (c. 1663) is a painting by the Dutch Golden Age painter Pieter de Hooch in the Wallace Collection in London.


It is a genre painting showing a quiet domestic scene from the time, like most of de Hooch's works. The elaborate fireplace and fur and embroidery in the mother's clothes show a prosperous household, and the cupid between the two figures implies a happy one. Its sensitive handling of light—in particular, natural light filtered into an otherwise unlit interior space—led 19th-century art historians to attribute it to Johannes Vermeer, with whose work the painting does bear strong similarities. However, Vermeer's work typically portrayed a woman working alone instead of a family scene as in A Woman Peeling Apples. Most scholars also now believe that de Hooch was influenced by Vermeer instead of Vermeer by de Hooch.

The painting is in oil on canvas (67 cm × 55 cm). It is also sometimes referred to as A Woman Peeling Apples, with a Small Child. This painting was documented by Hofstede de Groot in 1908, who wrote:

33. WOMAN PEELING APPLES. de G. 55.[1] In the right-hand corner of a room sits a woman, facing the spectator. She wears a black velvet jacket trimmed with fur, a red skirt, and a white apron. In her lap she holds a basket of apples which she is peeling. She holds out a long rind in her right hand to a little girl standing to the left and seen in profile. A tub is on the floor at the woman's feet. To the left is a fireplace with a kettle on the fire. The fireplace is lined with Delft tiles, and is enclosed with pilasters worked in low relief. Behind the woman hangs a mirror in a black frame. The sunlight enters through a window above to the right and illumines the wall and a corner of the mirror. The floor is composed of brown and white tiles. The picture is in a very dirty condition. Its general effect is fine. It is somewhat similar in style to the Weissbach picture (4), but not so charming in subject; it is Canvas, 26 inches by 21 inches. Mentioned by Waagen, Supplement, p. 87, in the collection of the Marquis of Hertford, who bought it from C. Perrier in 1848 (for £283 : 10s.). Described by Bürger, Gazette des Beaux Arts, 1866, vol. xxi. p. 561, as a Vermeer, No. 16. Exhibited at the Royal Academy Winter Exhibition, London, 1893, No. 55. Now in the Wallace collection, London, No. 23 in the 1901 catalogue.[2]


  1. ^ Comparative table of catalog entries between John Smith's first Catalogue raisonné of Hooch and Hofstede de Groot's first list of Hooch paintings published in Oud Holland
  2. ^ entry 33 for Woman Peeling Apples in Hofstede de Groot, 1908

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