Pieter de Hooch is best known for his pictures of the domestic life of women and children, such as 'The Courtyard of a House in Delft' in the collection. His later paintings record fashionable life in the city of Amsterdam, and utilise a darker and richer range of colours.
The son of a bricklayer, de Hooch was born in Rotterdam. According to his early biographer Arnold Houbraken, he was trained by Nicolaes Berchem, one of the leading Dutch painters of Italianate landscapes, who was mainly active in Haarlem. In 1655 de Hooch joined the guild of St Luke in Delft. His works of the 1650s may be indebted to the perspectival studies of Carel Fabritius, who was in Delft by 1650. His work is also related in style to that of Johannes Vermeer, with whom he must have had contact.
In 1660 de Hooch moved to Amsterdam, where he is last recorded in 1679, when his son Pieter Pietersz de Hooch was admitted to the Amsterdam lunatic asylum. De Hooch’s last dated work is from 1684. The place and date of his death are unknown.