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

Woman Peeling Apples

c. 1663
Oil on canvas, 71 x 54 cm
Wallace Collection, London

Soon after de Hooch's move to Amsterdam his works gain a little more in power and body, and his colour and chiaroscuro increase in warmth. This is seen in the full character of the figures in the Woman Peeling Apples with its concentration on the motif close to the spectator without side views. The painting recalls Vermeer's paintings of one or two figures in a lighted corner of a room, and is theme of a woman watched by a child as she works at a simple kitchen task is related to Maes's depictions of household activities. Yet de Hooch's painting is unmistakably his own; his ability to suggest the intensity and flow of light is undiminished, and the relationship between the woman and child absorbed in their simple activities retains human charm and naturalness.