(b. 1634, Rotterdam, d. 1682, Amsterdam)

A Child and Nurse in the Foyer of a Townhouse

Oil on canvas, 82 x 67 cm
Private collection

This painting depicts a child and nurse in the foyer of an elegant townhouse, the parents beyond. The subject matter and composition are related to a group of nine other 'entrance hall paintings' that Ochtervelt made over the course of about twenty years and which are universally considered to be among his most innovative and interesting pictures. All are set in the entrance hall of an elegant contemporary house and portray an encounter between the residents of the house and members of the outside world. Of the nine pictures, three depict street musicians at the doorway, three show fish sellers and there are three individual pictures of poultry, cherry and grape sellers. In the present work, which is the earliest dated painting of the group, the visitors are beggars.