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Jan Steen, Portrait of Jacoba Maria van Wassenaer (1654-1683), known as 'The Poultry Yard', 1660

Steen made this child’s portrait into something special. He placed the girl in a poultry yard, where she is giving a drink of milk to a lamb. She is surrounded by a motley collection of birds. Two gnarled servants look on in amusement, and their presence makes the girl look even sweeter and more endearing.

The child is Jacoba van Wassenaer. In the background is the castle where she lived: the castle of Lokhorst, or Oud-Teijlingen. When Steen painted the portrait, he lived nearby in the village of Warmond.

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