Bernard de Hoog (Dutch 1867-1943)
Although Bernard de Hoog began his life as a merchant, he taught himself to draw, refining his technique through industrious studies of nature and copying from Old Masters such as Pieter de Hooch. He started earning money through commissions from dealers and made just enough to afford paying his models. In 1886, during his first showing in Amsterdam, he garnered public admiration for the naturalism and believability of a painting entitled A Sermon in the Dungeon. He later matured into a dedicated painter of country life and peasant houses.
A master of composition and color, De Hoog is able to suggest various moods and create a multitude of effects through his delicate tones and intimate open images, often showing rustic scenes of mothers performing housework surrounded by their children. Upon seeing an exhibition of Dutch painters, which likely included the work of de Hoog, the 19th-century critic Richard Muther wrote:
"As soon as the Dutch are seen in any exhibition, its rooms are impregnated with a sense of peaceful clarity and of quiet sureness of effect recalling the Old Masters. These artists handle the scenes of life and the life of nature with a dignified simplicity, the charm of profound intimacy and cordial tenderness. These painters are united by a tender sentiment of home."