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Lifespan: 1626 - 1679
Nationality: Dutch painter
Gender: male
Collection: 62 paintings

Jan Steen was a Dutch artist who was born in 1626 in Leiden in the Netherlands and would die in the same city in 1679. The early education of Jan Steen was received from the Leiden School, the same school where one of the most famous artists of the same period, Rembrandt van Rijn, attended as well. Jan Steen is reputed to have studied under several artists in many different cities in the same region of the Netherlands, three of which are: Nicolas Knupfer, Jan van Goyen, and Isaac Ostade. He married a woman named Margaretha, who was the daughter of one of his reputed teachers, Jan van Goyen and they had seven children together. After her death in 1669, Steen would return to Leiden and marry Maria van Egmont, with whom he would have one child. The oil paintings of Jan Steen were very similar to many of his Dutch artist contemporaries. Most Jan Steen paintings focused on the portrayal of daily life, but were known for having a chaotic or even libertine aesthetic that became easily identified with the artist name Jan Steen. These messy images became so clearly associated with Jan Steen oil paintings that a Dutch proverb arose in which the phrase “Jan Steen household” is even still a phrase used to describe a chaotic or immoral place. The artwork of Jan Steen often tells a story and tends to incorporate humor while conveying a moral message, even though the content of the painting is usually a warning against certain behaviors rather than an exhibition of how to embrace valued morals. The paintings of Jan Steen which contained a religious element were often criticized because they still contained the sense of humor which was easily placed within his genre paintings of ordinary life. However, in a religious context, the humor was sometimes seen as inappropriate due to its apparent satirizing of Biblical stories. The same can be said for Jan Steen’s historical paintings as well. The full catalog of Jan Steen’s oil paintings was quite large and he is reputed to have completed nearly eight-hundred paintings, of which at least three-hundred have survived into the current era. The stylistic characteristics of Jan Steen’s paintings are not dependent upon his subjects though he was often seen as a successful colorist in his paintings. This fact can be easily validated by the richness in the tones of his paintings which still exist today. Jan Steen’s work was also undoubtedly influenced by his exposure to the Haarlem style of painting which was characteristic of many Dutch painters of his era. Some of the most significant works associated with Jan Steen are titled: Beware of Luxury, The Dissolute Household, The Effects of Intemperance, The Card Players, Peasants and Soldiers Outside a Tavern—an Allegory of the Rape of the Netherlands, A Fantasy Interior with the Family of Jan van Goyen, Rustic Courtship, Grace Before Meat, Joyful Company Under a Crib, The Miser, and A Village Wedding Feast with Revellers and a Dancing Party.


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A Burgher of Delft and His Daughter 1655 Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

A Burgher of Delft and His Daughter 1655

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A Merry Party 1660 Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

A Merry Party 1660

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A Merry Party Detail I 1660 Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

A Merry Party Detail I 1660

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A Merry Party Detail Ii 1660 Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

A Merry Party Detail Ii 1660

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Argument Over A Card Game Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

Argument Over A Card Game

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Arrival Of A Visitor Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

Arrival Of A Visitor

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Cat Family Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

Cat Family

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Celebrating The Birth 1664 Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

Celebrating The Birth 1664

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Doctor S Visit 1658-62 Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

Doctor S Visit 1658-62

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Garden Party 1677 Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

Garden Party 1677

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In The Tavern 1660s Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

In The Tavern 1660s

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Leaving The Tavern Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

Leaving The Tavern

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Love Sickness 1660 Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

Love Sickness 1660

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Merry Couple Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

Merry Couple

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Mother And Child Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

Mother And Child

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Nocturnal Serenade 1675 Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

Nocturnal Serenade 1675

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Prayer before meal Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

Prayer before meal

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Rhetoricians At A Window 1662-1666 Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

Rhetoricians At A Window 1662-1666

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Rhetoricians At A Window 1662-66 Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

Rhetoricians At A Window 1662-66

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Samson And Delilah 1667-70 Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

Samson And Delilah 1667-70

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Self Portrait As A Lutenist 1660-63 Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

Self Portrait As A Lutenist 1660-63

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Self Portrait With A Lute 1663-65 Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

Self Portrait With A Lute 1663-65

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Skittle Players Outside An Inn 1660 Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

Skittle Players Outside An Inn 1660

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So De Oude Songen Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

So De Oude Songen

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Tavern Garden 1660 Paintings | Jan Steen paintings

Tavern Garden 1660

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