Pieter De Hooch was a genre painter noted for his interior scenes and use of light. He is best known for his early works, which he painted in Delft, a lively artistic center in the Netherlands. De Hooch often depicted middle-class families in ordinary interiors and sunny courtyards, performing their humble daily duties in a calm atmosphere disrupted only by the radiant entry of natural light penetrating a door or window.
In his early thirties De Hooch moved to Amsterdam, where he stayed for the remainder of his life. Little is known of this period, and few paintings exist from this time. The Getty Museum's A Woman Preparing Bread and Butter for a Boy is one of the few surviving paintings from this time. After his move to Amsterdam, De Hooch's colors darkened and his simple domestic interiors were replaced by palatial halls and country villas. His address in these years suggests that he lived in a poor neighborhood of Amsterdam. During his final years, the quality of De Hooch's paintings deteriorated alarmingly; these developments may have been related to his death in an insane asylum at the age of fifty-five.