A Music Party

Pieter de Hooch (Dutch, 1629-1684)

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After establishing a career in Delft as a painter of restrained interiors featuring domestic scenes and merry companies, de Hooch moved to Amsterdam around 1661, and his paintings began to feature increasingly elegant settings. In this painting, the grand interior’s marble floors and wall moldings evoke the luxurious standards of the prosperous merchant class that arose in Amsterdam in the middle of the century. The elegantly attired figures are engaged in music making, wine drinking, and, above all, romance. Combined with their gently flirtatious leisure activities and the refined decor, the sunny canal scene visible in the background contributes to the atmosphere of serenity and pleasure.

Abbe de Gevigny, Paris, by 1779. Marquis de Salamanca, Paris, by 1867. Dowager Duchess of Richelieu, Princess of Monaco.{1} Edouard Jonas, Paris, by 1927;{2}Isaac D. Levy [1868-1934], New York, by 1927;{3}sold at auction (Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York) in 1944;{4}(Nicholas M. Acquavella Galleries, New York); {5}Louis and Mildred Kaplan, New York; sold at auction (Christie, Mason & Woods, London) in 1958.{6}Probably (John Mitchell Fine Paintings, London).{7} Given by Mr. and Mrs. Miklos Sperling to IMA in 1967 (67.21).

{1}This early provenance is given in Cornelis Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch painters of the Seventeenth Century, 8 volumes, 1908-27, vol. 1, p. 520, no. 166.
(2}Edouard Jonas is likely to be the dealer referred to as the "marchand de Paris" responsible for rediscovering this painting, see Clotilde Brière-Misme, "Tableaux inédits ou peu connus de Pieter de Hooch (part 3)", Gazette des Beaux Arts, 53 per., vol. 16 (1927): pp. 277, 279 (ill.) Peter Sutton's reference to an "Edward Jones" is likely to be an anglicizing of "Edouard Jonas"; see Peter C. Sutton, Pieter de Hooch, Complete Edition with a catalogue raisonné, Ithaca 1980, cat. no. 116 (ill.). From approximately late 1926 to late 1932, Jonas had a 56th Street New York gallery called "Edouard Jonas of Paris." On Jonas, see "It Always Comes Back," Time Magazine, 2 January 1933.
{3}I.D.Levy is given as the owner in the article by Brière-Misme cited above.
{4}Parke Bernet, Paintings, furniture, works of art, 24-25 November 1944, with the consignor's name given as "Mrs. Joseph Heine (Formerly Mrs. I. D. Levy )".
{5}Undated correspondence from Nicholas M. Acquavella to IMA, stating that he purchased the painting at the 1944 auction and sold it directly to Mrs. Mildred Kaplan, see IMA Historical File (67.21).
{6}Christie, Manson & Woods, London, Fine Ancient and Modern Pictures and Drawings, The Properties of....Louis S. Kaplan, Esq , 27 June 1958, no. 46 (ill.)
{7}See Sutton, cat. rais. 1980, cat. no. 116.

Object Information

Pieter de Hooch (Dutch, 1629-1684)
creation date
about 1675
oil on canvas
47 x 53-1/2 in.
accession number
credit line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Miklos Sperling
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800

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