OIL PAINTING: The Card Players, 1663
In the period between 1654 and 1665, when de Hooch was living in Delft, he created such paintings as The Card-Players, leaning heavily on the influence of Vermeer and the Rembrandt student Carel Fabritius. Although a certain tendency towards sumptuous interiors and elegant society is already evident here, the compositional organization is charming, and the architecture of the room with its checkerboard tiles heightening the sense of depth and perspective, is rendered with painstaking precision.
When de Hooch moved to Amsterdam in I667 where he moved in high circles, his interiors became increasingly elegant, and his simple "households" were gradually replaced by palatial interiors. At the same time, the portrayal began to lose its precision and the vitality of the Dutch genre painting began to fade. His paintings also began to lose the strong colour values so aptly described by Eugene Fromentin, a 19th century painter as follows: "The subtlety of Metsu and the enigma of Pieter de Hooch depend on there being much more air around the objects, shadow around the light, stability in volatile colours, blending of hues, pure invention in the portrayal of things, in a word: the most wonderful handling of light and shade there has ever been . . ."