Johannes Gerritsz. van Cuylenburch (attributed to)
Girl washing clothes in a courtyard in Zwolle, after 1653
Oil on canvas mounted on panel, 40,5 x 29,6 cm
Inventory number: 0029NMK
Bought in Vienna, 1902

In the doorway to a washhouse stands a laundry maid, bending forwards with a tub in front of her. A look of deep concentration is in her eyes as she is washing a white garment, while a corresponding garment and a blue piece of clothing hangs on a chair in the foreground. A dog has found a place to rest on the chair located in the adjacent patio. Johannes Gerritsz van Cuylenburch’s depiction of a tranquil everyday moment with a hard-working girl as the main subject underscores an ideal of domestic virtues that Dutch households strived for in those times. The much-loved Dutch poet Jacob Cats espoused a set of moral values through his literature - especially emblem books - in which a woman of virtue should be abstinent and industrious. Johannes Gerritsz van Cuylenburch’s laundry maid encapsulates those virtues.


Pieter de Hooch (1629-1684)


Translator: The translation agency Diction – J. Niclas B. Jensen

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