Rus Articles Journal

Peter de Hokh, “At a cradle: the woman laces up a corset“. What is mummy anxious with?

“The glory of genre cloths of Peter de Hokh is based on his bewitching representation of house scenes: mother and the child, the servant and the child in a court yard or in rooms in a usual situation“. (From the text accompanying a picture “At a cradle: the woman laces up a corset“ on the website of the state museum of Berlin, Germany).

Two bright spots attract a look: a white jacket on the woman and the doorway which is filled in with a sunlight at the exit from the house. At the left behind a portiere - an alcove with the growing white pillow and a black cover. The alcove wall which is laid out by a Delft tile is visible (drawings of tiles are not looked through, on them there can be both childish sports, and citizens, and sea types, and there is a lot of another).

The brilliant and mysterious subject - a hot-water bottle for a bed hangs on an alcove pilaster on the right. At it long (about a meter) the fine-molded wooden handle, on a surface some symmetric drawing is visible.

To the right of an alcove, on a wall - a hanger, on it - it is bright - a red skirt with a gold fringe low, at a zone lace - gold (or just yellow) a brush. Behind a skirt the wall, on it below - a Delft panelka with drawing is visible: whether the fisherman with a rod, whether the player in size.

In a hall the small picture hangs on a white wall, pictures hang also to the room: one - over an alcove, the second - over a door. The flaring decline on this landscape dilutes a dense shadow of a corner.

At the right wall the little table with night accessories settled down: a candlestick with a candle, a jug with water (a jug with a subglaze list). Over them, under a ceiling - the shining window. The lower part of a window is shaded, probably, outside it is closed by a shutter.

A floor in a hall is laid out by a terracotta tile, in the room - a black and white tile. The door jamb highlighted by a bright sun is reflected in brilliant floors. On clothes of the woman, as well as on a floor, white and black spots alternate (incidentally or intentionally?) .

The woman sits near a cradle. Her right hand extends a cord, left holds to a corset floor. The very broad green skirt is undone - at first it is necessary to tighten a corset.

The exhausted mummy looks as if at the same time and at a hand with a lace, and at the baby in a cradle: the sucker is fed, it is time to make toilet. She is obviously afflicted with something. Perhaps, the child is unhealthy and slept badly. She did not sleep and woke up late too: the sun rose long ago, the starshenky offspring himself put on, now costs at doors waiting for walk. And the dog at legs shows discontent signs too: whether he was not fed, whether are not allowed to go outside.

It is a little more - mother will make toilet, the doggie and the pedestrian will go to the street, all the turn...

The cradle is a wattled basket on the arc-shaped runners, in a headboard - a peak which the cover is thrown. The cradle is very deep. Most likely, a thick layer put hay or straw on a bottom. This layer - at the same time both a heater, and an absorber. Already over a layer put diapers. Both it is hygienic, and is cheap, and it is convenient.

By the way or inopportunely - digression to etymology of the word “cradle“. Never thought of it earlier, but, probably, time came.

Once, at the time of my residence in the city of Miass of Chelyabinsk region, I heard conversation of two old women. Naturally, their dialect was local, peculiar. And conversation concerned marriage intentions of one of their acquaintances. And here on the question “So He Marries It?“ the answer followed: “It kolybatsya“. Capital letters: KOLYBAETSYa. Does not “fluctuate“, namely “kolybatsya“. And in this, apparently, inaccuracies the word “cradle“, “kolybaniye“, the movement here and there definitely sounds. As there was a replacement “Û“ on “Å“ - perhaps, this problem will be solved by philologists.