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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Thursday, December 14, 2017


Pieter de Hooch [Public domain, Public domain or CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
In this warm, intimate piece, Pieter de Hooch (Dutch, 1629-circa 1684) shows us "A Mother's Duty." How do you ever pick one out of a busy housewife's day?  As it happens, this particular responsibility consists of delousing a child's hair.  This was a common task until fairly recently in domestic history, time-consuming, but good for some quiet time together.   Here we see mother tending to child in an unhurried fashion, making sure to clear away this small threat to well-being, guarding against disease and discomfort. 
Meanwhile, speaking of guarding, the family dog sits relaxed yet staunch before the open door, ready to evaluate all comers against the family peace.   After all, you never know when that pesky cat might try to get in.  So de Hooch is showing us two kinds of devotion, two kinds of safeguard.  Both as true as you get.

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