“The courtyard in Delft,” Peter de Hoch, is a description of the picture
- Posted by Peter de Hoh
- Museum: National Gallery (London)
- Year: 1658
Description of the picture :
Dolft Courtyard – Peter de Hoch. Oil on canvas. 73.5 x 60 cm
One of Peter de Hoh’s most recognizable works. Little Dutch courtyard on a clear autumn day. The master limits the image in the picture to the walls of the house and garden, which creates a feeling of comfort and peace. The vine starting to turn yellow spills the canopy, creating a shadow.
A young woman leaves the barn, carrying a deep plate in her hands. She holds the little daughter’s hand tightly so that she does not stumble on a steep staircase.
Stopping on the steps, the girl asks her mother for something, holding the apron. The artist gently expresses the emotions of people. The woman’s barely noticeable smile expresses love and care, the crafty expression of the girl’s eye gives her curiosity. Daylight illuminates the snow-white caps and aprons well, highlights the skirts with bright blue and chocolate colors.
A cleanly cleaned courtyard, paved with a light cobblestone, a neat well-groomed broom, a solid wooden bucket of water – all this speaks of the adjusted and measured course of life in the house.
There is another character on the canvas. In the shadow of the opened door leading to the street, an elderly woman stands with her back to the audience. The glare of the sun lies on the gray stone plates washed to the shine at her feet. The favorite reception of the painter is a look through the double doors through which you can see the city street flooded with the sun. Thanks to this, the courtyard does not seem isolated, it combines with space outside it.
Brick, reddish, warm brown colors and shades create the background of the picture. The artist’s skill is also manifested in the careful writing of details: old bricks, yellowish cobblestone of the yard, heavy folds of skirts are incredibly real. Brass locks on the shutter, an iron ring on the door – all this makes you look more closely at the image, finding all the new details and shades.
Another curious detail is located above the arch in the upper left corner of the canvas. The board with the inscription “All the valley of St. Jerome thirsty for patience and meekness must first go down to be ascended”, left by the former monastery in Delft.
The ability to enjoy every moment of life with its daily and such usual worries – we all see this in the works of Peter de Hoch.