Rus Articles Journal

Peter de Hokh, “The woman cleans apples“. And why to the daughter peel?

In Wallace`s (Wallace Collection) meeting are Peter de Hokh`s picture “The woman cleans apples“. “The picture, typical for its carefully grouped, light interiors, is a fine example of an innovative contribution of de Hokh to the Dutch art of the seventeenth century. There is a mother showing to the daughter how to clean apples, - a role model while the accompanying subject of matrimonial love is presented by cupid on a fireplace pilaster“. (From the text accompanying a picture on the website of the museum)

Day tends to evening. Under a dvusvetny window through which the bright sun joins the room the pretty woman of years of twenty five sits. From - under a cap on shoulders slightly curling dark hair fall down. On her neck - a necklace from large objects.

The woman cleans apples. It on a lap has a full wattled dish. On a low podstavochka before it - the dish is less, she puts the peeled apples there. She managed to clean a little - it is visible only two. The third at it in hands, she just removed a skin. The girl standing nearby takes away a peel ribbon from mother.

The girl doubts something, in her eye turned on mother the question is read. Perhaps, she wants to make how mother, and she asks about it? Whether mother can give it a knife that she cleaned apple? Possibly, mother answers it that it is still too small that it could work with a knife that it is necessary to grow up still (on the girl a dress with leads, by sight she is no more than 4 - 5 years old). And maybe, the child just wants to eat a peel?

To the left of them - a fireplace. On peat briquettes fire over which rather big copper closed by a cover hangs runs. Probably, cleaning of apples is somehow connected with this copper. What will they cook - compote or jam? More likely, jam - apples is enough.

The fireplace is richly trimmed: walls are laid out by a Delft tile, fireplace pilasters - tiles with reliefs, gold color. Plots are not really looked through neither on tiles, nor on tiles, but it is possible to distinguish accurately ways with some similarity of a grape brush on tiles and something similar to childish sports on tiles. Over a fireplace - a lambrequin on perimeter.

In a pier between a fireplace and a window the small mirror in a black frame hangs. Even such small mirror cost much in those days. Probably, therefore it hangs so highly that it could not be touched and dropped incidentally.

There is still witness of a solvency of the hostess - an inlaid floor, in a mosaic okhryany and white tiles alternate. *

In de Hokh`s picture the pretty woman together with the daughter clean apples...

* As historians of art, Peter de Hokh write (as, however, and his shop fellows) since some moment of the life began to embellish cloths, to draw what the potential buyer would like and not that was actually. In this picture there is some dissonance: occupation is ordinary, and clothes - nearly ceremonial. From here a question (on which there is no answer): it is someone`s portrait, the order or all is thought up?

It is unlikely the girl and the woman are thought up, most likely, they somewhere existed, their St. Petersburg not just saw, it observed them, and the situation and clothes are on the rich buyer.

As for a situation, the fact when the merchant who ordered the portrait very much wanted that the artist wrote it against the Persian carpet is known. And the merchant leased this carpet!

Perhaps, the customer asked to represent his wife and the child in a prosperous interior, as the artist made.