Paying the Hostess

Artist: Pieter de Hooch (Dutch, Rotterdam 1629–1684 Amsterdam)

Date: ca. 1670

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 37 1/4 x 43 3/4 in. (94.6 x 111.1 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Stuart Borchard and Evelyn B. Metzger, 1958

Accession Number: 58.144


The subject of a disputed reckoning is not common in Dutch art, but is found in one of De Hooch’s Delft pictures, dated 1658, and in travelers’ diaries of the time. In this mature work of the artist’s Amsterdam years, the pretty hostess of a country inn explains her method of accounting to a modishly attired customer. The seemingly flirtatious couple is surrounded by skillfully diversified effects of light.