A Mother Delousing her Child's Hair, known as 'A Mother's Duty'

Pieter de HoochAround 1658 - Around 1660


Amsterdam, Netherlands

A mother is diligently examining her child's head in search of lice. The scene is set in a modest interior, with Delft blue tiles and a box bed. A copper pan used to warm the bed is hanging nearby, and in the right foreground there is a 'potty-chair', a high chair for toddlers with a chamber pot. To the left we are given a view of a sun-filled back-room. Through the half-door, a corner of the garden is visible. From the Amsterdam collections of G. Braamcamp, J.L. van der Dussen, and J.J. de Faesh, among others. A. van der Hoop Bequest, 1854. On loan from the City of Amsterdam, 1885.


  • Title: A Mother Delousing her Child's Hair, known as 'A Mother's Duty'
  • Creator: Pieter de Hooch
  • Creator Death Place: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Creator Birth Place: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Date Created: Around 1658 - Around 1660
  • Style: Northern Netherlands School
  • Provenance: On loan from the City of Amsterdam (A. van der Hoop Bequest), since 1885
  • Physical Dimensions: w610 x h525 mm
  • Original Title: Binnenkamer met een moeder die het haar van haar kind reinigt, bekend als 'Moedertaak'
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: See more on the Rijksmuseum website
  • Medium: oil on canvas

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