The Terrace

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Dutch (Delft)

The Terrace, c. 1660

Oil on canvas
42 1/16 x 34 3/8 in. (106.9 x 87.4 cm)
Robert A. Waller Memorial Fund, 1948.81

In this work, an open window shaded by a grape arbor reveals couples drinking and chatting. Musical instruments, songbooks, and military gear hint at worldly pursuits and amorous dalliance, but the chief subject of the painting seems to be the illusionism of the near and far objects framed by the window. Optical problems were particularly intriguing to painters working in Delft, among them Carel Fabritius, Johannes Vermeer, and Pieter de Hooch. The author of this work has not yet been identified; one proposal is Ludolf de Jongh (1616–1679), a talented and eclectic artist from the neighboring city of Rotterdam.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Rotterdam, Museum Boymans, Vermeer Oorprong en Invloed Fabritus, De Hooch, De Witte, July 9 – October 9, 1935, p. 21, cat. 39, pl. 42.

Providence, Rhode Island School of Design, Dutch Painting in the Seventeenth Century, 1938, cat. 23, pl. 23, as Pieter de Hooch.

New York, World's Fair, Masterpieces of Art, 1939, p. 98, cat. 203, as Pieter de Hooch.

New York, Duveen Galleries, Paintings by the Great Dutch Masters of the Seventeenth Century, October 8 – November 7, 1942; Art Institute of Chicago, November 18– December 16, 1942, cat. 3, as Hendrik van der Burch.

Art Association of Montreal, Five Centuries of Dutch Art, March 1–31, 1944.

Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Park und Garten in der Malerei vom 16. Jahrhundert bis zur Geganwart, May 15 – July 14, 1957, cat. 8, pl. 5, as Hendrik van der Burch.

St. Petersburg, Fla, Dutch Life in the Golden Century, January 21 – March 2 1974; Atlanta, High Museum of Art, April 4 – May 4, 1975, pp. 31-2, cat. 16 (ill.), as Hendrik van der Burch.

Art Institute of Chicago, Faces, Places, Inner Spaces, June 2003-July 2007 (Hammerman Gallery of the Kraft Education Center; no. cat.)

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Case for Wine, July11—September 20, 2009, no exhibition catalogue.

Publication History

[Mettra Fils (Magasin du Bureau des Arts)], Notice d'une collection de tableaux choisis, la plupart originaux de grands maîtres.., Berlin 1802, p. 23, ill. with a print.

W. Buerger, “Van Der Meer de Delft,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts 21 (1866) p. 320 as Metsu.

Théophile Thoré (W. Buerger), Jan Vermeer van Delft (Leipzig: J. Zeitler, 1906), p. 26.

Wilhelm R. Valentiner, “Ein unbekanntes Meisterwerk der holländischen Genre-Malerei,”Pantheon 3 (1929), pp. 104–5 (ill.).

Wilhelm R. Valentiner, Pieter de Hooch; des meisters Gemälde (Klassiker der Kunst, [1930]), pp. 251 (ill.), 296.

A. Heppner, "Vermeer—the Origin and the Influence of his Art —Inaugural Exhibition of the new Boijmans Museum at Rotterdam," Pantheon 16 (1935), p. 260 (ill.).

Mary Chamot, "The Rembrandt and Vermeer Exhibitions," Apollo 22, 130 (1935), p. 202 (ill.).

L. H., "Rundschau," Pantheon 23 (1939), pp. 210 (ill.), 212.

Daniel Catton Rich, "The Terrace," Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 43, 1 (1949), pp. 32–3 (ill.).

J. Q. van Regteren Altena, "Een jeugdwerk van Johannes Vermeer," Oud Holland 75 (1960), p. 188.

Peter C. Sutton, Pieter de Hooch: Complete Edition (Phaidon, 1980) pp. 18, 66 n. 19, fig 11.

Neil MacLaren, The Dutch School, 1600–1900, National Gallery Catalogues (London: National Gallery, 1991), p. 100.

Christopher Brown, Carel Fabritius: Complete Edition with a Catalogue Raisonné (Phaidon, 1981) pp. 136, 145, cat. R23.

Peter C. Sutton, A Guide to Dutch Art in America (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986), p. 52, fig. 71.

Roland E. Fleischer and Stephen Reiss, "Attributions to Ludolf de Jongh: Some Old, Some New," Burlington Magazine 85 (1993), p. 672–4, fig. 16.

Martha Hollander, An Entrance for the Eyes: Space and Meaning in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art (University of California Press, 2002), pp. 60-1, fig. 26.

Frances Suzman Jowell, "Thoré-Bürger's art collection: 'a rather unusual gallery of bric-à-brac,’" Simiolus 30 (2003), pp. 40, 98, appendix 4.

Frederik J. Duparc, Carel Fabritius 1622–1654 (Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis, The Hague/Zwolle: Waanders Publishers, 2004), pp. 66-7, fig. 61.

Benjamin Binstock, Vermeer's Family Secrets: Genius, Discovery, and the Unknown Apprentice, New York and London, 2009, pp. 109-110, 115, 124, 128, 130, 134, 142, 144, 377, pl. 4b.

Ownership History

Possibly Aernout Eelbrecht, Leiden, inventory 1683 ["Een stuck van Fabritius, daar van Aelst sijn degen ingeschildert heeft" (A piece by Fabritius, in which Van Aelst painted his sword); suggested by J. G. van Gelder in Rotterdam 1935]. Pierre Fouquet, Amsterdam, before 1802 [according to Mettra Fils, Notice d'une collection..., 1802, no. 111 and manuscript version cited below]. Mettra Fils (Magasin du Bureau des Arts), Berlin, by 1802 [see Notice d'une collection..., no. 111, ill., as Metzu [sic] and manuscript version of this catalogue in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Libri. PIct. A112]; presumably sold by Mettra Fils to Prince Radziwill, Nieborow, by 1803; by descent to Prince Sigismund Radziwill, Paris, 1866; sold, March 22–23, 1866, lot. 78, as Metsu, Interior de cour d'une maison hollandaise to Théophile Thoré-Bürger [see Jowell, 2003 pp. 72, 98]; sold his private sale, Paris, February 1870, listed as Metzu [sic], Interior hollandais for F15,000 [see Jowell 2003 p. 114, appendix 4]. Duke George Nicolaevich de Leuchtenberg (died 1929), St. Petersburg [according to Rotterdam exhibition 1935]. Spink, London, by 1920 [according to Colnaghi index card]; P. and D. Colnaghi, London, by March 1920; sold by Colnaghi to Calouste S. Gulbenkian on 3 March 1920 [according to Colnaghi index card]; P. and D. Colnaghi, London, by 1929 [according to Valentiner 1929]. Leonard Gow, Camis Eskan, Dumbartonshire (died 1936), by 1935 [according to Heppner 1935]; by descent to Leonard Harper Gow, Glasgow; sold through D. Katz, Dieren, The Netherlands, as agent for Gow to the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1939 [RISD Museum Committee meeting minutes, March 7, 1939]; exchanged through E. and A. Silberman, New York, February 1945 [according to records of RISD, copy in curatorial file]; sold by Silberman to the Art Institute, February 1948.