Description This is a fine example of the type of painting of everyday life for which the Dutch Golden Age is justly famous. The elevation of the everyday life of ordinary working people to an aesthetic moment, as in Wyck's sensitively executed painting of a cook, is characteristic of the Haarlem school at mid century. During Wyck's working years, the best known Haarlem artist depicting the working classes was Jan Steen, whose forte was large scenes of merrymaking, while Wyck's intimate scenes typically depict moments of quiet, with one or two figures in a domestic setting and bathed in the cool limpid light of Northern Europe coming through a window at the left, a type of subject that other artists outside of Haarlem, such as Vermeer, also explored. There is another painting by the artist, a "Kitchen Interior with Woman and Child," (formerly with Richard Greene, London), that represents the same interior. The setting may be an actual one, perhaps from the painter's own home.
Provenance Private collection, France, 2007, by purchase; Rafael Valls, Ltd., London [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 2009, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase, with funds provided by the W. Alton Jones Foundation Acquisition Fund and Joel Goldfrank, 2009
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