• Idlers

    Artist:
    Steen, Jan. 1625 or 1626-1679
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    39x30 cm

Steen, Jan. 1625 or 1626-1679

Idlers

Holland, circa 1660

Jan Steen, a master of genre painting, captured the details of everyday life in his time so exquisitely that still today, 300 years later, it is impossible to walk past his personages without joining the artistic in hearty laughter. In The Revellers Steen depicted himself and his wife, Margriet, the daughter of the landscape painter Jan van Goyen. In Holland in those days painting frequently failed to provide a living income and artists quite often had to earn money by other means. Steen, for example, ran a small inn in his native city of Leyden that was probably the setting for this painting. The artist depicted himself as a jolly, good-natured reveller. Margriet is sleeping next to him, leaning on the table. The reason for the hostess’s tiredness is indicated by the glass in the innkeeper’s hand. The general atmosphere of the painting testifies not only to the couple’s cheerful disposition, but also to their happy married life. Despite the somewhat coarse humour, one cannot help but sense the painter’s indulgent attitude to what is going on. The artist’s is not mocking, but merely good-naturedly recording an event from daily reality.

Title:

Idlers

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

39x30 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1764; acquired from the J.E. Gotzkowsky collection in Berlin

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-875

Category:

Collection:

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