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  • Marriage Contract

    Artist:
    Steen, Jan. 1625 or 1626-1679
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    65x83 cm

Steen, Jan. 1625 or 1626-1679

Marriage Contract

Holland, Circa 1668

Before us is a scene of a forced marriage, a scene created by a master of the description of everyday life. Both the central and the secondary characters are natural and convincing. The artist relates the events in detail, which makes the narrative more lifelike, and yet at the same time many details have an allegorical meaning relevant to the situation: thus the yoke is a symbol of the heavy burden of a loveless marriage, and the broken eggs hint that the bride has already lost her virginity. The artist skilfully combines traditional morality and entertaining elements. The goodnatured humour with which the comic situation is played out is common to many of Steen's genre works, making it the defining characteristic of his painting, the expression of his individuality. The feel for an entertaining story, the ability to combine the humourous and the serious, and a keen observation of everyday life made Steen one of the most outstanding representatives of 17th-century Dutch genre painting.

Title:

Marriage Contract

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

65x83 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1921; transferred from the Grand Palace at Peterhof

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-795

Category:

Collection:

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