joy magnetism: Courtyard de Hooch

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Courtyard de Hooch

Magnet #577 - The Courtyard of a House in Delft, by Pieter de Hooch

So I've been holding on to this one, because I wanted to use it for an antivamp and/or Buffy/Angel post - granted, it's daylight, but you can't tell me that Angelus wouldn't have totally bitten the heck out of this chick lurking in the doorway.

But, curiosity got the best of me, as today I was determined to find out what this painting was.

Whew. So I spent a goodly amount of time trying to figure it out. Seriously, that's the last time I throw away the backing for magnet sets. Thank goodness I remembered that it was from the National Gallery in London.

And yay for the National Gallery having such a wonderful search site for their collection! It's amazing! You can search by artist, or decade - or if you don't know which - you can just search their entire collection. Not that I did that. Really.

Anyway, I have to say, it was almost a needle in a haystack, especially if you take into account that this is the painting in its entirety. Oiy!

In the end? I found it where all good things are found. In the little shop. No joke. I started searching their prints for sale. Heh.

de Hooch was part of the whole Delft School, and painted this piece in 1658. You can just make out the signature to the left, in the cornerstone. There's a whole explanation for the painting, but this half of the cropped image is meant to be the mistress of the house. I do like how she's looking out into a lovely clean courtyard, but behind her doors, is so much more of her story.

I saw a couple of explanations for the inscription above the doorway, but I like this one from the Gallery best, as it mirrors my mood today:
This is in Saint Jerome's vale, if you wish to repair to patience and meekness. For we must first descend if we wish to be raised.

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