National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of A Dutch Courtyard Pieter de Hooch (artist)
Dutch, 1629 - 1684
A Dutch Courtyard, 1658/1660
oil on canvas
overall: 69.5 x 60 cm (27 3/8 x 23 5/8 in.) framed: 92.7 x 83.8 x 12.1 cm (36 1/2 x 33 x 4 3/4 in.)
Andrew W. Mellon Collection
1937.1.56
On View
From the Tour: Johannes Vermeer and Dutch Scenes of Daily Life in the 1600s
Object 1 of 8

Working in Delft, Pieter de Hooch specialized in orderly, intimate spaces where housewives or maids go about their chores or pause to rest. Here a woman sips from a “pass-glass,” with rings marking equal portions for passing around to share. The little girl carries a brazier of hot coals for the men to light their long-stemmed, white clay pipes.

To create a stable, sheltering environment for this depiction of domestic tranquility, De Hooch emphasized the geometry of the brick paving, window shutters, and wooden fence. Over the garden wall can be glimpsed the tower of Delft’s New Church.

The Bedroom, another De Hooch in the Gallery's collection, depicts a mother changing the linen in a “sleeping cupboard” while her daughter seems to ask to go out in the backyard to play. The tidy parlor, lined in blue-and-white glazed tiles, recalls that Delft was a major ceramic center. It is noteworthy that even this modest household proudly displays three framed paintings and mirrors.

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