Cover image for Pieter de Hooch, 1629-1684
Pieter de Hooch, 1629-1684
Sutton, Peter C.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Hartford, Conn. ; New Haven : Dulwich Picture Gallery, Wadsworth Atheneum : in association with Yale University Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
183 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 32 cm
General Note:
"Dulwich Picture Gallery, 3 September to 15 November 1998, Wadsworth Atheneum, 17 December 1998 to 27 February 1999"--T.p. verso.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ND653.H75 A4 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Pieter de Hooch, one of the most famous and innovative artists of Holland's Golden Age, played a pioneering role in the Delft School and m the advancement of genre painting and naturalism in the seventeenth century. Best known for his expressive use of interior space and sun-filled courtyards, de Hooch's command of perspective and responsiveness to light and atmosphere were unprecedented, and his work undoubtedly influenced his younger but more famous colleague Vermeer.

This beautiful book examines de Hooch's position in Dutch genre painting and the social and political context of his art in the United Netherlands. It also addresses the artist's favored themes -- in particular the virtue of domesticity -- and relates them to Dutch civilization, literature, and the history of the family in the Protestant republic. Peter Sutton investigates de Hooch's approach to narration and his practice of encoding commentaries through symbolism, gesture, and such time-honored devices as the painting withinthe painting. In addition, he discusses new technical data concerning the artist's painting techniques, materials, and working methods. Through word and image, the book traces de Hooch's artistic development from his early beloved Delft period pictures to his more elegant and aristocratic paintings from his later years in Amsterdam.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Vermeer is the most famous and adored painter from Delft, with Hals and Rembrandt one of the greatest Dutch painters. De Hooch was his contemporary and fellow townsman. He never produced a painting as luminous and enthralling as Vermeer's masterpieces, but his marvelous scenes of happy, comfortable people enjoying a meal or a card game and conversation in and around well-kept, handsome, sometimes palatial houses are, with their painstaking architectural fidelity and individuated figures, the quintessence of realistic charm. Sutton, a foremost authority on de Hooch, strives in the main text to link the painter to his influences and colleagues, especially Vermeer, and provides finer detail in the lengthy annotations to the 41 full-page colorplates that, as luck would have it, amount to less than half the book's illustrations. Clotted with information, Sutton's prose is a bit stodgy, but the splendid reproductions make the volume a natural for public library art collections. --Ray Olson

Library Journal Review

Although not as well known today as his contemporaries Vermeer and Rembrandt, de Hooch was also a 17th-century Dutch painter of realistic family scenes and architecture rendered in perspective. The director of the Wadsworth Atheneum, Sutton has written an accessible monograph that, updates his earlier catalogue raisonn‚, Pieter de Hooch: Complete Edition (LJ 11/15/80), and serves as the catalog for a de Hooch exhibition appearing in London and Hartford. A 75-page text covering the artist's life and techniques and themes of his work is followed by nearly 100 pages presenting plates of works in the show; eight entries bring the catalog raisonn‚ up to date. Sutton has achieved the rare feat of creating a work that is both a significant addition to scholarship and a reader-friendly introduction for those not already familiar with the artist. Recommended for specialized art and academic libraries and larger public libraries.ÄKathryn Wekselman, Univ. of Cincinnati Lib., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Since the early 19th century, de Hooch has been avidly collected and featured prominently in museums; unlike the slightly younger Vermeer, whom he may have influenced, de Hooch was never an unknown quantity. His canvases are treasured for their meticulous and glowing scenes of tavern merriment and domestic tranquility. Understood in the context of Dutch moral and visual culture, these paintings proclaim the dangers of loose living and the virtues of domesticity. De Hooch's method of constructing his interior and courtyard spaces involved careful perspective study; he apparently used string and pins to create these illusionistic environments with multiple distance points. Born in Rotterdam (1629), he worked in Delft (1655-60) and then settled in Amsterdam. Documentation is wanting concerning his marriage and seven children. His later years are obscure, and his death (1684) in the Insane Asylum of Amsterdam suggests that the family resources were limited. In this handsome catalog, which documents this first one-man exhibition ever of the artist, Sutton has updated his authoritative catalogue raisonne, Pieter de Hooch (CH, Dec'80), and presents the artist for all to enjoy. General readers; undergraduate and graduate students; professionals. A. Golahny Lycoming College