Jan Steen was born on this day in 1679

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STEEN (stain)

Dutch genre painter

Common clues: Dutch artist; “Merry Company” artist; “Skittle Players” painter; Dutch painter Jan

Crossword puzzle frequency: 4 times a year

Frequency in English language: 18793 / 86800

Video: Old Leiden and its painters

Jan Havickszoon Steen (c. 1626 – buried February 3, 1679) was a Dutch genre painter of the 17th century (also known as the Dutch Golden Age). Psychological insight, sense of humour and abundance of colour are marks of his trade.

Steen was born in Leiden, where his well-to-do, Catholic family had run the tavern The Red Halbert for several generations. Like his even more famous contemporary Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669) Jan Steen attended the Latin school in Leiden. He received his painterly education from Nicolaes Knupfer (1603–1660), a German painter of historical and figurative scenes in Utrecht. Influences of Knupfer can be found in Steen's use of composition and colour. Another source of inspiration was Adriaen van Ostade (1610–1685), painter of rural scenes, who lived in Haarlem. Whether Steen actually studied with Ostade is not known.

Self Portrait as a Lutenist (1660-63)

In 1648 Jan Steen joined the painters' Guild of Saint Luke at Leiden, but soon after became an assistant to the renowned landscape painter Jan van Goyen (1596–1656) and moved into his house on the Bierkade in The Hague. On Oct 3, 1649 he married van Goyen's daughter Margriet, with whom he had eight children. Steen worked with his father-in-law until 1654, when he moved to Delft, where he ran brewery De Roscam (The Curry Comb) without much success. He lived in Warmond from 1656 till 1660 and in Haarlem from 1660 till 1670 in which period he was especially productive. In 1670, after the death of his wife in 1669 and his father in 1670, Steen moved back to Leiden, where he stayed the rest of his life. In April 1673 he married again, with Maria van Egmont, who gave him another child. In 1674 he became president of the Sint Lucas Guild. He died in Leiden in 1679 and was interred in a family grave in the Pieterskerk.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jan Steen"