Pieter de Hooch

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1629 (Rotterdam) - 1684 (Amsterdam)

by Jan Melkert

Of the early years of de Hooch there is little known. He could have been an apprentice of Claes Berchem in Haarlem. In 1653 he is mentioned in documents as servant and painter in the service of Justus de la Grange, a merchant in textiles, who lived in Delft and Leiden. In 1655 de la Grange possessed ten paintings of de Hooch. In 1654 de Hooch married with Jannetje van den Burch and a year later he became member of the Saint Lucas guild. He lived until around 1600 in Delft and afterwards he moved to Amsterdam. After 1672 we loose sight of de Hooch until the mention in the documents of his death in a hospital of psychiatric patients in 1684. Together with the works Johannes Vermeer the works of de Hooch are mentioned as the “Delftse school”. His earliest dated paintings are from 1658. The motive, the scenes on his paintings are: waiting rooms, inns with soldiers and citizens. His precise style and these motive make that unsigned paintings are attributed to de Hooch. His early works have a dark, brown/yellow scale of colours. In Delft he specialized in scenes of interiors; interiors of houses/rooms of well to do citizens. Often we see the woman of the owner of the house with a servant doing some household handlings. He also made paintings of views on little courtyards. Little intimate pictures with views(doorkijkjes) through gates. The interiors are minutely painted, the figures seem to be less important than the environment in which they are painted. The mutual influence between Vermeer and de Hooch is an interesting topic. The colours of the Hooch in his later years become more transparent, without losing the warm tones. His works becomes more vivid by using the views through gates and open doors his work gets an strong illusionistic character. His work gives a harmonious view on a little aspect of daily life in the households of 17th century Dutch burghers/citizens.

 COURTYARD OF A HOUSE IN DELFT

COURTYARD OF A HOUSE IN DELFT
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pieter_de_Hooch_004.jpg | Click on the picture to go to its source.

WOMAN DRINKING WITH SOLDIERS

WOMAN DRINKING WITH SOLDIERS
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hooch,_Woman_Drinking_with_Soldiers.jpg | Click on the picture to go to its source.

 

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