Interior Illusions

Today I’m launching my blog History by Design!

It’s going to be about great design of all ages: cities, buildings, interiors, furnishings, objects, art, fabrics, colours, patterns… even movies and food.

First up is a selection of my favourite 17th century Dutch interior paintings.

Interior paintings are my favourite genre. Not only because they give you an idea of what homes looked like in bygone times, but also because of the many different materials, textures, patterns and objects that are often depicted. Also, the play of light in the rooms can be beautiful, the most famous examples of which are the paintings by Vermeer. But as most people probably know those well, I will here discuss some lesser-known interior scenes.

In the 17th century domestic scenes were very much in fashion and thus produced en masse. Some painters even specialized in the subject, like Pieter de Hooch and Gerard Dou, who both painted in a very delicate manner, producing paintings with smooth surfaces, intricate details and amazing simulations of different materials and textures.

Pieter de Hooch, Interior with Figures, 1663-65, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York




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