Although Pieter de Hooch is not known to have had students, he directly influenced a number of his contemporaries, among the most important being Hendrick van der Burch, who was a professional and personal contact of de Hooch's in Delft. Both were regularly recorded in that city as witnesses for the notary Frans Boogert from as early as 1652, and they seem to have been related through marriage with De Hooch's union with a Jannetje van der Burch in 1654.1
Even though many works have been mistakenly attributed to Van der Burch in the past, the present painting, clearly inspired by De Hooch's guardroom scenes and likely dating to earlier in Van der Burch's career, is highly characteristic of his output and stands out in quality within the group of works now securely given to him. Notably strong details within this interior, filled with a group of merrymaking figures in the foreground and another near the hearth in the background, include the brightly colored feathered hat in the smoker's lap at left, the discarded armor and clothing at right, and the sweet little dog at center.
In dimensions and description, this painting is identical with one sold in Amsterdam in 1809, and an attribution to this relatively obscure painter at that time likely arose from an early signature or a noteworthy tradition.2
1. See Sutton 1980, in Literature, p. 319.
2. Oil on canvas, 23 by 29 inches, "In het Binnengezigt van een Coyn de Garde zitten drie Officieren te rooken en te drinken; agter hun een ander krijgsman in een vrolijke houding met een Glad in de hand; vier ander Beelden en eigenaartig bijwerk..." See ibid., p. 320, note 27.