HOOCH, Pieter de
(b. 1629, Rotterdam, d. 1684, Amsterdam)

Two Soldiers and a Serving Woman with a Trumpeter

Oil on panel, 76 x 66 cm
Kunsthaus, Zurich

Military life was a topical subject during the first half of the seventeenth century in the Netherlands. Battle scenes were painted by many Dutch and Flemish artists, Esaias van de Velde and Palamedes Palamedesz being two of the most prolific representatives. During the 1630s and 1640s, when Frederick Hendrick was conducting or threatening campaigns against the Spanish Netherlands, numerous troops, many of them mercenaries, spent months in the United Provinces simply occupying border areas and waiting for orders to come from The Hague. The soldiers interaction with the local population ranged from robbery and extortion to heroic protection and from rape to romance. Idle groups of soldiers were depicted by many Dutch artists such as Pieter Codde, Willem Duyster, David Vinckboons, Jacob Duck and Anthonie Palamedesz. De Hooch's inn scenes descend from many works in this tradition, but above all from recent pictures by Ludolf de Jongh.