THE COLLECTION
A Boy Bringing Bread
  • Date: c. 1663
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 73.5 x 59 cm
  • Object size: Made up to, 74.5 x 60 cm
  • Inv: P27
  • Location: East Galleries II
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Description
Provenance
Further Reading
  • A boy offers a basket of bread to a lady in the doorway to voorhuis, the street-facing room in a Dutch row house. Behind them a tiled courtyard leads to a passage beyond which a second woman, possibly the boy’s mother, watches the transaction from accross a canal. De Hooch specialised in such perspectival views through multiple spaces in a domestic setting, which provide a glimpse into the private life of prosperous Dutch families in the seventeenth century. As in many of his canvases, the drawn perspective was created by placing a pin at the vanishing point: the hole can be detected with the naked eye on the door jamb at the extreme left of the canvas. The principal lines of the composition converge on this point. The motif of the boy allowed the artist to create a narrative connection, encouraging the viewer to look back from him to the distant female figure. The picture was probably painted soon after de Hooch arrived in Amsterdam from Delft at the beginning of the 1660s.