Just a couple of observations on this painting that I used Tuesday to illustrate the post. It's called "A Dutch Courtyard" and was painted by Pieter de Hooch in 1658 to 1660, nearing the end of the Dutch hold upon the Hudson Valley of New York as part of their North American empire. I like the way it is a "try this" moment as I would take it that the serving woman is trying the drink of the man holding the pipe as he has no drink otherwise. The beer is mid-dark. There is no chair for her. There is no chair for her mirror minor image, either, the little serving girl to the right. Her glass is one of those delicate long narrow beer glasses I have seen pictures - a spiral swirl of thin glass wrapping its way up. A vine. Or maybe bine. Or something else. But look at buddy no pipe. He's got a frikkin' growler in his hand or at least the sort of vessel I have seen trotted out as a special Christmas offering at the beer store. Plus a breast plate. And a heavy wall around them. Does the gentleness of the scene also reference stark realities beyond it? And the somewhat lonely church tower keeking over the wall. What's that about?
Dutch Beer, Breastplate And Growler Circa 1660
Posted by Alan McLeod on Thursday, October 25, 2012 in Holland, Beer History, Lore and Traditions, Beer Art, Language and Writing - 12 comments