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Typical of his carefully composed, light-filled interiors, the picture is a fine example of De Hooch’s innovative contribution to domestic subjects in seventeenth-century Dutch art. Here the mother, teaching her daughter to peel apples, presents a positive female role model while the complimentary theme of marital love is represented by the cupid on the fireplace pillar. De Hooch’s attention to contemporary customs is shown by the black opthalmic patch on the woman’s temple, a supposed cure for sight disorders. The picture recalls Vermeer’s paintings of figures in a light filled corner of a room and was wrongly attributed to the latter in Thoré-Bürger’s pioneering study of Vermeer (1866).

The Wallace Collection



A Woman Peeling Apples




oil on canvas


H 67.1 x W 54.7 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1848; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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