Jan Steen: "Stop, instant, you is fine"

Jan Steen (1626-1679) - Dutch artist of the XVII century. It's the Golden age painting of Holland. His works are famous and recognizable by the insight, sense of humor, abundance of light and color.

self-Portrait with a lute, which was written by Jan Walls, clearly expresses the style of their work and attitude to the world and himself. And this despite the fact that his life has been far from smooth.


Ian Walls came from a family of brewers secured in Leiden. He was the eldest of eight children and was educated in Leiden, the painter Nicholas Knupfer. 22 Jan Steen and his friend founded a Guild of St. Luke. Later he became an assistant to the popular landscape painter goyena. The artist moved to the house of his master in the Hague, carried away and married his daughter Marguerite. They had eight children. Although as an artist, the Walls were very prolific (over a lifetime, he painted about 800 paintings, of which survived about 400–450), money to live and support a family was not enough.


He had moved to Delft, where he operated three years, the brewery. Paintings continued to write. In 1654 in Delft after the tragedy (the explosion of a powder warehouse) painting practically ceased to demand. Very fruitful for creativity turned out to be two periods. From 1656 to 1660, when the artist lived in Varmonde and 1660 and 1670 – in Haarlem.

Band disasters

In 1669 his wife died, and Jan Walls at the insistence of his father he returned to Leiden. He lived there the rest of their life. 1672 – year of the disaster and disaster when the Dutch Republic was simultaneously attacked by England, France, and war broke out. Paintings, of course, became useless. The walls opened a tavern. Widower with children find it difficult to cope with the economy, and in 1673 he married a widow with two children. They had another child. In 1674 he became the head of the Guild of St Luke. In 1679, the painter died in Leiden and was buried in the family vault. This is a short biography of a great painter by the name of Jan Steen. Biography is full of unpredictable troubles and tragedies, and the painting is filled with humor and humorous genre scenes.


the Dutch so appreciate the talent of the artist that put it almost on a par with Rembrandt, Vermeer and Hals. The artist Jan Steen talks about the merry and dissolute life as whole families and individuals. His paintings are mostly multi-figure. Often there are two or three characters, rarely – one. Popular themes: the visit of the doctor, scenes of feasts, the feast, the lady behind the toilet. Each work is full of carefully drawn details. Below you can see the work “Happy family" (1668).

They gathered around the table on which you have for all ham and bread and a vessel of wine. The head of the family has already raised the Cup and sang fun songs to the sound of the horns, which play the older children. One already emptied the bottle lying on the floor, and another vessel took possession of younger children. They are no one pays attention. A mother who holds a baby, got carried away reading the letter. It shows her grandmother. There is also a dog, which also wants to join in the universal joy, having received a piece of ham. Heartily and kindly the painter looks on this carefree world.

Characters who loves the artist

Heroes Wall – often wealthy citizens who are able and like to have fun.

Canvas "Rhetoric at the window,” indicates “scientists”, which already had a lot of fun at the table, and now want to have the word to other people. The character of each is reflected on the face, someone benign, someone gay, someone – boring. They are shown with good-natured irony. The artist masterfully used as a psychological portrait, and color.


So at auction is often called a picture of «Hermitage», which in 1660 was written by Jan Walls. “party people” – this is her Russian name.

frequent assessments – it's his self-portrait with his wife Margaret. It is a complete story about life in poverty, but not in anguish. “Wealth, honor, in the end, bring a little happiness. And I feel sorry for the cowards and fools that they are obedient government», – after burns could repeat the artist.
Interior is dark and dingy. Copper cookware on the shelves is not shiny, the walls sooty. On the table, in addition to big-bellied bottles and mugs, nothing. Margaret, after drinking, fell asleep leaning on the table. With her legs fell Shoe, she dropped her pipe on the floor and was about to fall from the table a dish and a knife, and the knot of the cloth. But the owner cheerfully lighting his pipe and did not pay attention to these details, that is, he sees them as a painter, with irony, and quite indifferent to them as people.

Creative dictation: Jan Steen, “the teacher”

What is creative dictation? The teacher uses it for the development of coherent speech, expand and enhance the vocabulary of their students improve spelling. It is of two types:
  • a theme all pick and parse words, then make them, and then the story.
  • First, the teacher reads the text on a given topic. Then comes his analysis, clarifies the words that have the students ' use. Only then can the students freely present the material studied, not forgetting about the obligatory words.
For this, you can see a picture of “the teacher" (1668).

Teacher ready to punish anyone who will not be about to do. In this case he had in his hands a wooden mallet. In the foreground a boy diligently writes something. The child in blue, wiping tears, listening to the explanations of the teacher. Over the shoulder to his notebook looks older boy. He is once again ready to listen to the explanation, then all smartly repeat and give the correct answer. Fourth child just listens to it. The face of the teacher (he's not that strict) expresses a lot of patience and willingness to explain the baby a difficult text.
Even in this seemingly sententious canvas the artist shows life as a Comedy of manners, looking with complacency on the attempts of the children and teachers.