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Tuesday, May 17 • 2:30pm - 3:00pm
(Paintings) Exploring Pieter de Hooch's Mid-Career Period: A Study of Growth in Creativity

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In the course of Pieter de Hooch’s artistic career, both his style and technique of painting evolved, shifting in response to his contemporaries as well as to the current interests of the art market. As De Hooch comes into his artistic maturity in the mid-late 1650s, entering what is considered his most artistically creative period, his paintings become more refined in technique, sensitive in palette and composition, and innovative in subject matter. In the late 1650s, De Hooch begins creating carefully composed domestic scenes of mothers and housewives with deliberate attention paid to naturalism, light sources, and quality of light. As the mid-career period progresses, his subject matter shifts to the depiction of more prosperous households and elegant genre scenes. Despite this change in subject, there is still sensitivity to spatial order, naturalism, and perspective throughout all the mid-career compositions. The technical quality of these paintings remain strong, which differs from the earlier works, which are mainly low-life genre compositions painted in a sketchy manner with a dark, earth-toned palette, and also from works of his later period, when De Hooch begins to produce more paintings, at the expense of their quality in reaction to the economic decline of Amsterdam in 1672. This study investigates De Hooch’s painting methods, specifically his technique, painting practice, and material choices, during his mid-career period. The three paintings by De Hooch in the National Gallery’s collection, A Dutch Courtyard, The Bedroom, and Woman and Child in a Courtyard, all dating to 1658-1660, are a main focus of the study, though examination of a number of De Hooch’s paintings in other institutions played a integral role, further adding to the knowledge base of the artist’s painting technique and materials choices. In addition, while these mid-career paintings are the focus of the study, some artworks from his early and late career were examined in order to put findings in context and to better understand how de Hooch’s technical practice evolved over the course of his career. Last, treatment and technical analysis of one of the National Gallery’s paintings, Woman and Child in a Courtyard, complemented the study and overall findings.

avatar for Dina M. Anchin-[PA]

Dina M. Anchin-[PA]

Conservator, National Gallery of Art
Dina Anchin is an Associate Painting Conservator at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. She received her M.A. in Art Conservation, with a Certificate of Advanced Study in Paintings Conservation from Buffalo State College in 2012 and Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Art Conservation... Read More →

Tuesday May 17, 2016 2:30pm - 3:00pm EDT
Room 511 A/D