Leisure Time in an Elegant Setting by Pieter De Hooch
Like his contemporary Johannes Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch played a pioneering role in the advancement of genre painting in 17th century Holland. He was especially gifted as a painter of interiors--complex spatial arrangements stunningly beautiful in the manipulation of light. This picture is richly decorated with a marble floor and gilt-leather wall coverings, articulated by diffuse light from the window at left. The merry dialogue in the near ground is foiled by the mysterious encounter of a young man and elderly bearded figure in the antechamber and vestibule. De Hooch achieves extraordinary clarity and geometry in this grandly furnished chamber, qualities evocative of paintings he made in Amsterdam in the 1660s. (http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/459086)
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