New research on the paintings of Pieter de Hooch Rijksmuseum and Museum Prinsenhof Delft

April 19 2018 - 11:04 AM

For the first time, extensive research will be conducted into the painting technique of the 17th-century Delft master Pieter de Hooch (1629- after 1684). The research work will be carried out in the Rijksmuseum’s Atelier Building in collaboration with Museum Prinsenhof Delft, and will culminate in the monographic exhibition at Museum Prinsenhof Delft entitled ‘Pieter de Hooch in Delft: From the Shadow of Vermeer’, which will run from 11 October 2019 to 16 February 2020.

The research

The technical research conducted by the Rijksmuseum’s conservators and researchers is focusing on the six Pieter de Hooch paintings in the museum’s collection, which date from around 1650 to 1670. To create a broader research context, additional paintings by De Hooch have been added to this multidisciplinary programme. These include works from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and a private collection. This research is expected to yield new insights into art-historical and technical aspects of the life and work of the Dutch master. In 2019 the results and conclusions of the technical research will be presented in Museum Prinsenhof Delft’s exhibition and catalogue.

‘This research project will give us a deeper understanding of Pieter de Hooch’s painting technique. The Rijksmuseum houses the world’s largest collect collection of the artist’s work, and the museum’s Atelier is the ideal location for conducting this research. I am proud of this collaboration and delighted that the Rijksmuseum will have the opportunity to contribute to this unmissable exhibition in the city where he lived and worked for a substantial part of his life!’
Taco Dibbits, Director of the Rijksmuseum

‘In 2019, Pieter de Hooch will at last get the platform he so deserves with a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition of his finest paintings in Delft. This will be the first time that the very best work of this outstanding artist returns to the city in which it was made. We are grateful to the Rijksmuseum, the centre of expertise for research and conservation, for conducting this multidisciplinary research into the painting techniques of Pieter de Hooch.’
Janelle Moerman, Director of Museum Prinsenhof Delft

Rijksmuseum: international centre of expertise

Preservation, conservation and research of the collection are among the Rijksmuseum’s core responsibilities. It is in the Atelier Building that the Rijksmuseum, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) and the University of Amsterdam (UvA) pool their knowledge of conservation and restoration. The bringing together under one roof of research, teaching and practical application makes this evolving centre of expertise unique in the world.

‘Pieter de Hooch in Delft’, the exhibition in Museum Prinsenhof Delft

This monographic exhibition devoted to Pieter de Hooch in his home country of the Netherlands at last gives him the platform an artist of his stature. Pieter de Hooch is internationally regarded as the greatest Delft master of the seventeenth century, after Vermeer. The exhibition in 2019 and 2020 will focus on the unique paintings De Hooch produced in Delft in the period from roughly 1652 to 1660; the most beautiful courtyards and interiors will return at last to their place of origin. The exhibition will encompass some 35 paintings and other objects, including approximately 25 paintings by Pieter de Hooch from museums and private collections in this country and around the world. Many of these masterpieces have never before been seen in the Netherlands.

Museum Prinsenhof Delft was the recipient of the 2017 Turing Grant, the prize for the best exhibition plan by a Dutch museum. The Turing Foundation is the main sponsor of this exhibition.