Pieter De Hooch comes home to Holland

The Largest Retrospective in a Generation

Pieter de Hooch, Woman and child in a bleaching ground in Delft, ® Private collection

The first retrospective exhibition in the Netherlands of the famous 17th-century painter Pieter de Hooch (1629 – after 1684) will be presented at the Museum Prinsenhof Delft from 11 October 2019 to 16 February 2020.

The exhibition, Pieter de Hooch in Delft: From the shadow of Vermeer is the first retrospective of the artist’s work in his own country. After Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch is widely considered to be the most celebrated Delft master of the 17th century. The paintings De Hooch produced in Delft (ca. 1652-1660) will be at the heart of the exhibition: his most beautiful courtyards and interiors will return to the city where they were painted almost 400 years ago.

Approximately 30 works will be coming to Delft on loan from leading museums in Europe and the United States. These include many famous paintings never before exhibited in the Netherlands such as Woman and a Maid with a Pail of Fish in a Courtyard from the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. Another painting on loan is the well-known Courtyard of a House in Delft from the National Gallery, London. Other Pieter de Hooch masterpieces will come from Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, the Kunsthaus Zürich and the National Gallery of Art in Washington. An extraordinary work on loan from the Royal Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the masterpiece Cardplayers in a Sunlit Room.

In addition, the exhibition will comprise works on loan from the Mauritshuis, the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, the Amsterdam Museum and of course the Rijksmuseum, which holds one of the largest collections of De Hooch’s in the world.

Janelle Moerman, Director, Museum Prinsenhof Delft: “In 2019, we will finally offer Pieter de Hooch the prominence he deserves by showing his finest works in Delft. The 30 works by De Hooch brought together on this unique occasion, will provide visitors with a rare opportunity to study his style and imagery in depth. Never before have so many of De Hooch’s masterpieces returned to ‘his’ Delft, the city where he created his most beautiful courtyards and interiors almost 400 years ago. Here one can still experience the atmosphere of Pieter de Hooch’s 17th-century Delft with its beautiful buildings and churches he once painted.”

In preparation for the exhibition, a range of research projects has been in progress since 2017: art-historical research, research on materials and techniques, research into topographical aspects of Pieter de Hooch’s work, archival research and research into the history of the appreciation of De Hooch’s work.

For the research, the Museum Prinsenhof Delft has worked in close cooperation with the Rijksmuseum, the Delft University of Technology, an archival art historian and an architectural historian. The results of these various lines of research will become visible in the exhibition and will be described in the catalogue accompanying the exposition.

The investigation of materials and techniques being carried out by the Rijksmuseum’s restorers and researchers concerns the six paintings by Pieter de Hooch from their own collection, dated ca. 1650 to 1670. In order to broaden the field of research, paintings from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Picture Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Karlsruhe and a private collection were also studied. The research promises to provide fascinating new insights into the materials and techniques used by the Dutch master.

In 2017, the Museum Prinsenhof Delft received the Turing Foundation Art Award for the best Dutch museum exhibition programme for 2019-2020. The Turing Foundation is the lead supporter of the exhibition.

About the Museum Prinsenhof Delft

The Museum Prinsenhof Delft tells the story of five centuries of Dutch history on the basis of three icons: William the Silent, Delft Masters and delftware. The Museum Prinsenhof Delft was the scene of one of the most important events in Dutch history: the murder of William the Silent, as ‘Father of the Nation’ and the ancestor of King Willem-Alexander, on 10 July 1584. Discover in the museum about Delft’s significance in the development of the Netherlands.

Delft and The Golden Age

In 2019, Delft will ‘turn to gold’ with a full year of cultural events on aspects of the 17th-century Delft Golden Age in today’s Delft.

For more information: www.delft.com. ‘Delft & the Golden Age’ is part of the year commemorating ‘Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age’ in the Netherlands.