A Woman Preparing Bread and Butter for a Boy


Pieter de Hooch: A Woman Preparing Bread and Butter for a Boy

Wayne Frantis


92 pages

PDF file size: 6.49 MB


In the hushed stillness of early morning, a dutiful mother butters bread for her young son, who stands patiently at her side; one can observe the school he will soon attend across the way. This splendid painting captures a trivial moment in a family’s daily routine and imbues it with an almost sacrosanct quality. 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 Getty Museum’s canvas is one of numerous pictures by the artist depicting women and children engaged in a variety of wholesome, productive 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. Syracuse University professor Wayne Frantis 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.

Pieter de Hooch: A Woman Preparing Bread and Butter for a Boy is part of the Getty Museum Studies on Art series, designed to introduce individual artworks or small groups of related works to a broad public with an interest in the history of art.

Each monograph is written by a leading scholar and features a close discussion of its subject as well as a detailed analysis of the broader historical and cultural context in which the work was created.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Pieter de Hooch: His Life and Development as an Artist
  • Chapter II: Pieter de Hooch and the Representation of Domesticity in Dutch Art
  • Chapter III: Pieter de Hooch and the Marketing of Domestic Imagery in the Dutch Republic
  • Notes
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Index
  • Acknowledgments

About the Authors

Wayne Frantis is professor of fine arts at Syracuse University and a specialist in seventeenth-century Dutch art. Among his numerous books is Dutch Seventeenth-Century Genre Painting: Its Thematic and Stylistic Evolution (Yale University Press, 2004).