Delft was the focus for this Netherlandish trip. A rare chance to see an assemblage of works by Pieter de Hooch at the Prinsenhof was one I culd not miss, even at fairly large expense and at a busy time of year.
It was worth it. Even though there are plenty of PdHs in London (and they’re all the best output of an artist whose work can vary in quality) to be able to see so many of his works juxtaposed against one another was an opportunity not to be missed.
And not just his works; also his letters, records and this fine piece of stone. A motif which appears in the Nationa Gallery’s A Courtyard in Delft. I’m not usually a sentimentalist but this physical connection with the man behind the art worked to connect the past with the present, for me at least.
Holland is not a dry place so before getting the train to Den Haag for the Maritshuis we took refuge in the Delfts Browhuis for some quality ale and bar snacks. Bitterboellen to be precise – deep fried balls of meatycheesy mustard inflected goodness that were a perfect accompaniment to good beer.
Talking about the art my son pointed out a detail that I hadn’t noticed. A date perhaps? We fellers will recognise with pain the glazed look of a woman who has lost interest in what we are saying.
I hope the guy in the stovepipe hat had the good sense to let go the hand and wrap things up quickly before going for a consolation beer with his mates.
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).