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Jan Havicksz. Steen

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Jan Havicksz Steen was born in Leiden in 1626, the son of a brewer. Educated at a Latin school, in 1646 he enrolled at Leiden university yet never graduated. Instead, he took an apprenticeship as a painter, although little is known about this. Steen painted a huge number of works, especially genre paintings showing cheerful people having fun. He also painted portraits, as well as historical scenes. Jan Steen is buried in St Pieter's church in Leiden.
Young and old are having a wonderful time: mother and grandmother are singing, the children are playing music and smoking, and father raises his glass. The note on the mantelpiece comments poignantly: ‘as the old sing, so pipe the young’. Steen’s picture brings the saying to life and warns the viewer: if the parents set a bad example, then the children will follow suit. The merry family, Jan Havicksz. Steen, 1668.

Young and old are having a wonderful time: mother and grandmother are singing, the children are playing music and smoking, and father raises his glass. The note on the mantelpiece comments poignantly: ‘as the old sing, so pipe the young’. Steen’s picture brings the saying to life and warns the viewer: if the parents set a bad example, then the children will follow suit. The merry family, Jan Havicksz. Steen, 1668.

The feast of Saint Nicholas, Jan Havicksz. Steen, 1665 - 1668.

The feast of Saint Nicholas, Jan Havicksz. Steen, 1665 - 1668.

Interieur met een vrouw die een papegaai voert, bekend als ‘De papegaaiekooi’, Jan Havicksz. Steen, ca. 1660 - ca. 1670

Interieur met een vrouw die een papegaai voert, bekend als ‘De papegaaiekooi’, Jan Havicksz. Steen, ca. 1660 - ca. 1670

Woman at her toilet, Jan Havicksz. Steen, 1655 - 1660.

Woman at her toilet, Jan Havicksz. Steen, 1655 - 1660.

De zieke vrouw, Jan Havicksz. Steen, ca. 1663 - ca. 1666

De zieke vrouw, Jan Havicksz. Steen, ca. 1663 - ca. 1666

De ketelschuurster, Jan Havicksz. Steen, 1650 - 1660

De ketelschuurster, Jan Havicksz. Steen, 1650 - 1660

Een drinkend paar, Jan Havicksz. Steen, 1660 - 1679

Een drinkend paar, Jan Havicksz. Steen, 1660 - 1679

Legs spread, hand on hip, Croeser sits comfortably on the stoop of his house on Oude Delft in Delft. His 13-year-old daughter Catharina is looking directly at us. Jan Steen added a narrative element to the portrait: paupers asking the wealthy grain merchant for alms. Two years later, in 1657, Croeser acted as guarantor for Steen, who was then deeply in debt. Portrait of Adolf en Catharina Croeser on Oude Delft, Jan Havicksz. Steen, 1655.

Legs spread, hand on hip, Croeser sits comfortably on the stoop of his house on Oude Delft in Delft. His 13-year-old daughter Catharina is looking directly at us. Jan Steen added a narrative element to the portrait: paupers asking the wealthy grain merchant for alms. Two years later, in 1657, Croeser acted as guarantor for Steen, who was then deeply in debt. Portrait of Adolf en Catharina Croeser on Oude Delft, Jan Havicksz. Steen, 1655.

Self-Portrait, Jan Havicksz. Steen, ca. 1670

Self-Portrait, Jan Havicksz. Steen, ca. 1670

The Baker Arent Oostwaard and his Wife, Catharina Keizerswaard, Jan Havicksz. Steen, 1658

The Baker Arent Oostwaard and his Wife, Catharina Keizerswaard, Jan Havicksz. Steen, 1658