Pieter de Hooch and the Classicizing Phenomenon in Dutch 17th-century Genre Painting

Abstract

This article argues that De Hooch was contributing to and participating in the emerging classicizing phenomenon, in part, to create works that would mirror and thus give shape to the civilizing sensibilities of collectors of his art. De Hooch’s innovation was also responsive to changing conditions of the art market, which caused some artists and theorists to praise the virtues of the state-sponsored art production in France. The costly construction of the classicizing Amsterdam Town Hall, decorated with the largest site-specific commission of history paintings at the time, further affected the strained artistic environment. This unprecedented project prompted De Hooch to consider new subjects and his professional status, as well as the changing value and function of painting in the Dutch Republic.

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