Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Steen, Jan from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(yän stān), 1626–79, Dutch genre painter, b. Leiden. He studied in Utrecht and in Haarlem under Van Ostade and Van Goyen, whose daughter he married. His huge production of paintings, numbering nearly 900, reveal the influence of most of the major Dutch masters except Rembrandt, but retain a distinct and individual style. His painting offers a composite picture of the social life of his day, often tending toward the humorous or moralistic. His favorite themes were scenes of revelry and feasting. He was a superb draftsman and portraitist, and, despite his love of the incidental, he handled his large groups of figures effectively and spontaneously. Among his many notable works are The Feast of St. Nicolas and The Prince's Birthday (Rijksmus.); The Menagerie and The Painter's Family (The Hague); and Skittle Players (National Gall., London). The Metropolitan and Brooklyn museums and the Art Institute of Chicago have examples of his work.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2017

Related Credo Articles

Full text Article Steen Jan (1626 - 1679)
A Biographical Dictionary of Artists, Andromeda

The Dutch artist Jan Steen painted humorous scenes showing the recreations of the middle and lower classes. His pictures are...

Full text Article Steen, Jan (c. 1626 - 1679)
The Macmillan Encyclopedia

After training under Adriaen Van Ostade and Jan van Goyen , whose daughter he married, he worked in The Hague, Delft, and...

See more from Credo