Steen, Jan

▪ Dutch painter

born c. 1626, , Leiden, Neth.
died Feb. 3, 1679, Leiden
 Dutch painter, ranked immediately after Rembrandt and Hals as a painter of everyday scenes. Steen is unique among leading 17th-century Dutch painters for his humour; he has often been compared to the French comic playwright Molière, his contemporary, and indeed both men treated life as a vast comedy of manners. Some of the artist's biblical and classical paintings such as “Anthony and Cleopatra” (Kunstsammlung der Universität, Göttingen, Ger.) may have been inspired by the contemporary stage. His portraits of rhetoricians (Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels; Worcester Art Museum, Mass.) attest to his interest in these groups of amateur actors.

      Steen was enrolled at the University of Leiden in 1646 and in 1648 was one of the founding members of the Leiden painters' Guild of St. Luke. His early teachers seem to have been the historical painter Nicolaus Knupfer at Utrecht, genre and landscape painter Adriaen van Ostade at Haarlem, and the landscapist Jan van Goyen at The Hague. In 1649 Steen married van Goyen's daughter and settled at The Hague for the next few years. He moved to Delft in 1654 and to Haarlem in 1661. In 1670 he was back in Leiden, and in 1673 he married again.

      In Steen's landscapes, including his winter scenes, small earthy figures recall those of Adriaen and of Isack van Ostade. In his later works the figures are larger, less crowded, and more individually characterized. He shows them playing cards or skittles, or carousing in their cups, as in “Skittle Players Outside an Inn” (c. 1660; National Gallery, London). His frequent use of inns probably reflects his own background as the son of a brewer and sometime brewer and tavernkeeper himself. He was a master at capturing subtleties of facial expression, especially in children. His best works display great technical skill, particularly in the handling of colour.

      During Steen's last years, his paintings began to anticipate the Rococo style of the 18th century, becoming increasingly elegant and somewhat less energetic, as in the “Serenade” (c. 1675; Národní Galerie, Prague), and showing a heavy French influence and an increased flamboyance.

Additional Reading
Mariët Westermann, The Amusements of Jan Steen: Comic Painting in the Seventeenth Century (1997); H. Perry Chapman, Wouter Th. Kloek, and Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr., Jan Steen, Painter and Storyteller, ed. by Guido Jansen (1996), an exhibition catalog.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Steen,Jan — Steen (stān), Jan. 1626? 1679. Dutch genre painter known for his humorous and moralistic depictions of domestic life and revelry, including Village Wedding (1635) and Flemish Feast in an Inn (1674). * * * …   Universalium

  • STEEN, Jan —    See Painting …   Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands

  • Steen, Jan — ► (1626 79) Pintor holandés. Autor de Almuerzo en familia y Fiesta en el interior de una posada …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • STEEN, JAN —    Dutch painter, born in Leyden; was a genre painter of the style of Rembrandt, and his paintings display severity with sympathy and a playful humour; he is said to have led a dissipated life, and to have left his wife and a large family in… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Steen, Jan Havicksz — (1626 Leiden 1679 Leiden) (Netherlands)    Painter and brewer. Studied under N. Knupfer in Utrecht, Adrian van Ostade in Haarlem, Jan van Goyen in The Hague, and at the art academy in Leiden. A major figure in the Dutch Baroque style, he is best… …   Dictionary of erotic artists: painters, sculptors, printmakers, graphic designers and illustrators

  • Steen, Jan (Havickszoon) — born с 1626, Leiden, Neth. died Feb. 3, 1679, Leiden Dutch painter. A brewer s son, he was enrolled at the University of Leiden in 1646 and in 1648 became a founding member of the Leiden painters guild. One of the greatest Dutch genre painters,… …   Universalium

  • Steen, Jan (Havickszoon) — ( 1626, Leiden, Países Bajos–3 feb. 1679, Leiden). Pintor holandés. Hijo de un cervecero, en 1646 se inscribió en la Universidad de Leiden, y en 1648 se convirtió en miembro fundador del gremio de pintores de Leiden. Fue uno de los más… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Steen — Steen, Jan …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Jan Steen — Jan Havickszoon Steen (c. 1626 – buried February 3 1679) was a Dutch genre painter of the 17th century (also known as the Dutch Golden Age). Psychological insight, sense of humour and abundance of colour are marks of his trade. LifeSteen was born …   Wikipedia

  • STEEN (J.) — STEEN JAN (1626 1679) Peintre de genre par excellence, Jan Steen est le fils d’un brasseur hollandais. Né à Leyde, et successivement élève de Nicolas Knupfer à Utrecht, d’Adriaen van Ostade à Haarlem et de Jan van Goyen à La Haye, il assimilera… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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