Pieter de Hooch - The Courtyard of a House in Delft [1658]

This is one of several paintings signed and dated 1658. The carefully observed architecture takes precedence over the figures in the painting; the decayed garden wall on the right contrasts with the well-preserved house on the left, where a passage affords a view to the street beyond, and with the freshly swept pavement. The stone tablet over the doorway was originally over the entrance of the Hieronymusdale Cloister in Delft. When the cloister was suppressed this tablet was removed and set into the wall of a garden behind the canal. Another signed and dated version of the same view (private collection) probably preceded this painting.

[Oil on canvas, 73.5 x 60 cm]