Brusati Reflection

The picture I choose is “Figures in a Courtyard behind a House” by Pieter de Hooch. The first thing I noticed is the red house roof. The color red is very intense and grabs the attention of the eye immediately. Then my focus shift to the blue sky and clouds lighten up by the sunlight and shift back toward the figure washing a pot under the sunlight. Eventually, my attention is on the three figures around the table. According to Brusati, I have just completed a process of “spherical field of view”, which is the result of using the technique of horizon line. (Pg. 917, Brusati) My eyes viewed the painting by focusing on one point at a time and eventually circled back to the first point where I started. Thus, there are multiple perspectives with at least four points of perspective. If we added the door opened to the front yard with trees, and open door and windows of the house, there will be about six perspectives of looking at this painting. Each point of perspective leads me to imagine the story and scenery behind these figures and spaces. I wonder about the conversation the figures are having and their roles in the household. At the same time, the open doors and windows make me want to explore the house and the front yard. As stated by Brusati, I do want the owner of the house to guide me around and tell me their stories. Through imagining, I am able to get a glimpse into the everyday life of the people in the 1600s. Apart from daily life, the painting also revealed that at the moment the people are living a peaceful and happy life.


Pieter de Hooch, Figures in a Courtyard behind a House, c. 1663-c.1665,,1


4 thoughts on “Brusati Reflection

  1. This is a very interesting analysis of the work. I greatly enjoyed reading about the path that the eye naturally takes through the painting, and how the artist specifically designed it to move just that way. The cyclical nature of this eye pattern is also very interesting, and I liked how you called attention to it very much. Well done!


  2. Nice narrative of your eye tracking. It may be that elements other than vanishing points (Brusati’s focus) lead our eye around–colors, strong lines in the composition, etc. The open door is definitely one of the tricks Brusati notices, though, as we can almost but not quite see what might be out there. Something about that super-clean chimney makes me focus on that as well–it’s so unreal it forces my gaze.


  3. I actually had a slightly different experience than you when I viewed this painting. My eye was first drawn to the three people sitting in the foreground of the painting, left and down from the center. My gaze then moved up and to the right, expanding out to the full house and the woman working next to them. I then followed your perspective, moving up to the contrasting colors of the bright red roof and the bright blue sky. Finally, I moved out to the trees and fences and bricks at the borders of the painting, their muted colors drawing my eye the least and serving primarily to highlight the more central subjects.


  4. It was a delight reading your reflection. You clearly applied the given technique very well. Analyzing all the details and giving them all their own time. Collectively you have a beautiful analysis of the given piece of art, applying and perfecting the technique of analyzing with a “spherical field of view”


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