In the hush of early morning, a dutiful mother butters bread for her young son, who patiently stands at her side. This splendid painting captures a trivial moment in a family's daily routine and makes it almost sacrosanct. A Woman Preparing Bread and Butter for a Boy was executed by the Dutch painter Pieter de Hooch (1629-1684) between 1661 and 1663. The J. Paul Getty Museum's canvas is one of the artist's many pictures depicting women and children engaged in daily activities.
This book examines the painting in relation to the artist's life and work, exploring his stylistic development and his complex relationship to other painters in the Dutch Republic. The author places the subject matter of the painting within the broader context of seventeenth-century Dutch concepts of domesticity and child rearing and ties it to social and cultural developments in the Netherlands during the second half of the seventeenth century.
Wayne Franits is professor of fine arts at Syracuse University and a specialist in seventeenth-century Dutch art. He is the author of numerous publications, the most recent being Dutch Seventeenth-Century Genre Painting: Its
Thematic and Stylistic Evolution.
Series: Getty Museum Studies on Art