With breath-taking verisimilitude, Pieter de Hooch has captured this intimate scene of domestic quietude during the Dutch Golden Age. This window into Delft life reveals the public space beyond the courtyard enclave, aided by the strict system of linear perspective in the foreground. Imbued with a luminescence reminiscent of his Master Vermeer, de Hooch depicts a maid from empiricism given his former life before becoming a painter. This may account for the empathetic rendering of his subject here. The plaque above the brick archway reads, when translated:
‘This is in Saint Jerome’s vale, if you wish to repair to patience and meekness. For we must first descend if we wish to be raised”.