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

At the Linen Closet

Oil on canvas, 72 x 77,5 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Pieter de Hooch had moved from Delft to Amsterdam by 15 April 1661, when one of his daughters was baptized in the Westerkerk. In his Amsterdam years his domestic interiors became richer and his compositions more complex. His technique becomes progressively cruder and his late paintings often contain clumsy figure drawings and a coarse palette. In a painting such as this one, however, from his early years in Amsterdam, De Hooch applies the delicate technique of his Delft scenes to grander Amsterdam interiors.

Here a classical statuette stands over the pilastered doorway and the woman and her maid take clean linen from an ornate 'kast' inlaid with ebony and surmounted by porcelain. In the background a child playfully wields a 'kolf' stick. Paintings such as these accurately show the details of Dutch interiors of the period and it is interesting to see a portrait in an elaborately carved gilt frame hanging alongside a landscape in a simple ebony frame. Through the open door, we can glimpse the buildings on the other side of the canal.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.