The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
A Boy Bringing Bread
  • Pieter de Hooch (1629 - 1684)
  • A Boy Bringing Bread
  • Netherlands
  • c. 1663
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 73.5 x 59 cm
    Made up to, Object size: 74.5 x 60 cm
  • P27
  • East Galleries II
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • A boy offers a basket of bread to a lady in an interior; behind them a tiled courtyard leads into another dark interior, beyond which can be seen a canal with a second woman, possibly the boy’s mother, watching the transaction from afar. With its masterly illusion of receding depth, the picture demonstrates De Hooch’s sensitivity to differing effects of daylight in adjoining spaces, in this case through a series of indoor and outdoor spaces. Originally a girl reading a book sat in the doorway, but she was painted out in favour of the lady and the boy, whose stance echoes the verticality of the architecture and prompts the eye to travel upwards into the picture space. By paring down his composition De Hooch focuses the viewer’s attention and imbues the scene with intensified quietude.