Museums and Art

“Mother at the Cradle”, Peter de Hoch - description of the painting

“Mother at the Cradle”, Peter de Hoch - description of the painting

Mother at the cradle - Peter de Hoch. 100 x 92 cm

The patriarchal way of life inspired Peter to create genre home paintings. One of Peter de Hoch’s favorite stories is maternal care.

Before us is a room in a Dutch house. In front of the alcove is a young woman who has just finished feeding her baby. She laces the corsage, but a look full of love does not come off from the baby sleeping in the cradle. A wicker cradle is standing on the floor washed to shine, carefully covered with a cloak. A dreamy smile plays on the woman's lips. The house is quiet. Even the dog calmly stopped nearby, turning her head to the mistress.

The room is twilight. Behind the heavy striped curtains, a bed with a dark blanket is visible. The wall behind it is half tiled with patterned ceramic tiles. On the right is a tablecloth-covered table with a candlestick and a beautiful jug of famous Delft porcelain. The walls of the house are decorated with three paintings in dark frames. Another interesting detail - next to the curtain on the wall hangs a metal heating pad for the bed on a long wooden handle. Everywhere is clean and tidy.

Muted colors and tones create the background and the main color of the picture, creating a feeling of comfort and security. The artist used a diverse palette of warm brown, golden, olive and terracotta shades.

But our attention is attracted by several color spots. Rays falling from a high window in the room illuminate the boiling white cap and shirt of a young mother. The fur on the outerwear gently shimmers in the twilight. The red saturated color of the corsage emphasizes the whiteness of the clothes. The festive skirt hanging on a hanger and a blanket covering the baby are of the same deep color.

But the look in the picture does not rest on the dark wall - in the next room of the house an open door is visible through which the morning sunlight bursts into the house. The interior becomes deep, it combines with the space of the street. Near the door is an older child, dressed and fully prepared for a walk. He carefully peers at what is happening on the street and, it seems, is ready to run away there.


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