Jan Steen (1626-1679)
Paintings in some of the world’s great museums
Jan Steen is one of the most popular and multitalented artists of 17th-century Dutch painting. His paintings hang in some of the world’s great museums. We all know his fun pictures of homes in chaos, fake doctors, sick girls and inns full of drunken adults and children running wild. His chaotic scenes are so typical of his work that a ‘Jan Steen household’ is a common saying in Dutch. Besides painting many household scenes (known as ‘genre paintings’), Steen also made history paintings and portraits. He used his knowledge of the Bible, classical mythology, history, literature (including comic literature) and the theatre in his work.