Saturday, March 15, 2014

Painting of the Day: Cardplayers in a Sunlit Room, 1658

Cardplayers in a Sunlit Room
Pieter de Hooch, 1658
Acquired by King George IV
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Pieter de Hooch (Rotterdam 1629-Amsterdam 1684), the great Dutch master produced this painting in 1658. Typical of Dutch painting of the era, and also demonstrative of de Hooch’s body of work, the finely rendered composition gives us a glimpse at an interior scene frozen in time.

The piece was acquired by King George IV (1762-1830) in 1825. The painting is notable because it’s illustrative of that brief moment in time when de Hooch and Vermeer were working simultaneously on similar subjects. While similar in approach and style, the two artists—when comparing respective works of this same year—clearly tackled their pieces with different spirits.

De Hooch’s masterful exploration of the quality of light is evident here. The fall of the filtered light on the detailed floor almost gives the composition a sense of being a landscape. This comparison is reinforced by the presence of a landscape on the wall.

This is one of two de Hooch paintings which were recorded in the inventory of King George IV’s personal residence, Carlton House. 

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