#FineArtFriday: Winter Scene by Jan Steen 1650

Inv.nr: 10032

Artist: Jan Steen (1625/1626–1679)

Title: Winter Scene

Date: circa 1650

Medium: oil on canvas

Dimensions: Height: 660 mm (25.98 in); Width: 960 mm (37.79 in)

About this painting, Via Wikimedia Commons:

[1] Winter Scene is one of the earliest known paintings by Steen. With its diagonal composition and silhouetted figures on the ice one can clearly see his early inspirations from paintings such as Isaac van Ostade’s Winter from 1645. Here, as often seen in other works by Steen and his contemporaries, the activities are being watched by a well-dressed couple who occupies a central position in the composition. [1]

About the Artist, via Wikipedia:

[2] Jan Havickszoon Steen (c. 1626 – buried 3 February 1679) was a Dutch Golden Age painter, one of the leading genre painters of the 17th century. His works are known for their psychological insight, sense of humour and abundance of colour.

Daily life was Jan Steen’s main pictorial theme. Many of the genre scenes he portrayed, as in The Feast of Saint Nicholas, are lively to the point of chaos and lustfulness, even so much that “a Jan Steen household,” meaning a messy scene, became a Dutch proverb (een huishouden van Jan Steen). Subtle hints in his paintings seem to suggest that Steen meant to warn the viewer rather than invite him to copy this behaviour. Many of Steen’s paintings bear references to old Dutch proverbs or literature. He often used members of his family as models, and painted quite a few self-portraits in which he showed no tendency of vanity.

Steen did not shy from other themes: he painted historical, mythological and religious scenes, portraits, still lifes and natural scenes. His portraits of children are famous. He is also well known for his mastery of light and attention to detail, most notably in Persian rugs and other textiles.

Steen was prolific, producing about 800 paintings, of which roughly 350 survive. His work was valued much by contemporaries and as a result he was reasonably well paid for his work. He did not have many students—only Richard Brakenburgh is recorded—but his work proved a source of inspiration for many painters. [2]

Credits and Attributions:

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:Måleri, landskapsbild, vinterlandskap. Jan Steen – Skoklosters slott – 88965.tif,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:M%C3%A5leri,_landskapsbild,_vinterlandskap._Jan_Steen_-_Skoklosters_slott_-_88965.tif&oldid=428348165 (accessed July 22, 2021). Photographer:  Jens Mohr.

Wikipedia contributors, “Jan Steen,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jan_Steen&oldid=1022958604 (accessed July 22, 2021).

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