Pieter de Hooch
KITCHEN INTERIOR WITH TWO WOMEN
Oil on canvas (relined). 63 x 75 cm.
"In an interior a woman sits and plucks a duck, next to her is a servant who shows her a cabbage. In the background a man sits by the fire; to the side a girl can be seen coming from a second room." This description corresponds not only to our painting but also to work No. 53 in Hofstede de Groot's inventory of works by Pieter de Hooch. The inventory catalogues the work, however, as measuring 25 x 30 cm. This is perhaps a mistake; a composition of such small dimensions would be very unusual for de Hooch.
Pieter Sutton, in his catalogue raisonné, lists our work under number 136. He also mentions a second version which he considers a copy. A third or original version could also have existed.
Subjets from the life of the middle-class were characteristic for Pieter de Hooch's time in Delft when the artist under the influence of Vermeer painted his best works. They are often depicted in a simple environment and - as in this painting - engaged in domestic activities.
Violet Lady Melchett. - Auction Lady Melchett, 6. 3. 1946, no. 113. - Sir Alexander Korda. - Auction Countess of Rosebery, London 24. 3.1976, no. 45. - Private collection, Germany.
C. Hofstede de Groot, 1907, vol. I, p. 489, no. 53. - M. R. Valentiner: Pieter de Hooch Des Meisters Gemälde in 180 Abbildungen mit einem Anhang über die Genremaler um Pieter de Hooch und die Kunst Hendrick van der Burchs, Berlin - Leipzig 1929. - Peter C. Sutton: Pieter de Hooch, Oxford 1980, p. 113, no. 136, ill.139.
Eugene Slatter, Loan Exhibition, London 1945, no. 11 (verso label)