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Pieter de Hooch

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Pieter de Hooch

*  1629 Rotterdam
† 1684 Amsterdam


Pieter de Hooch (Pieter Hendricksz. de Hooch), born son of a butcher at Rotterdam in 1629, served his apprenticeship, according to Houbraken, with the landscape painter Nicolaes Berchem. The latest discovery of a so far unknown early work confirms this thesis, which had long been in doubt. The early genre pieces by Pieter de Hooch (Pieter Hendricksz. de Hooch), were quite rough scenes of inns and soldiers´ lives in strong chiaroscuro, calling reminiscence of the Rotterdam painter Ludolf de Jongh.
There is proof for a cooperation between Pieter de Hooch (Pieter Hendricksz. de Hooch) and the art merchant Justus de la Grange in 1653, mentioning him as his "servant and painter". Pieter de Hooch (Pieter Hendricksz. de Hooch) painted his main works a little later in Delft, where he specialized in domestic and bourgeoise genre and interior scenes of an extremely subtle and dense atmosphere. In Delft, the place where he was able to unfold his artistic talents, Pieter de Hooch was mentioned for the first time in 1654 on occassion of his marriage with Jannetje van der Burch; in 1655 and 1657 the Delft painters´ gild of St. Luke mentions him as member. During his years as one of the main protagonists of the Delft art scene, Pieter de Hooch presumably also spent some time in The Hague and Leiden.
In 1667 Pieter de Hooch (Pieter Hendricksz. de Hooch) was, as it has been proven, in Amsterdam. It seems that his wife´s death was the reason why he relocated, this change also marked the beginning of a new period of creation. During the Amsterdam years his scenes, now placed in luxuriously endowed interiors, clearly became more decorative.
Even though Pieter de Hooch (Pieter Hendricksz. de Hooch) counts among the most remarkable baroque genre painters, he obviously was not active in teaching . Regardless thereof, his style had impact on numerous artists, such as Pieter Janssens Elinga.
Pieter de Hooch (Pieter Hendricksz. de Hooch) died in Amsterdam in 1684.