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Fantasy Interior with Jan Steen and the Family of Gerrit Schouten

Jan Steen1659 - 1660

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Jan Steen was known for his scenes of bawdy revelry, often with moral overtones. Here we see him dressed as a gentleman, gesturing towards a seated man who has recently been identified as Gerrit Schouten, a brewer from the Dutch town of Haarlem. Schouten, accompanied here by his son and daughters, owned a brewery called the Elephant. Steen creates a witty allusion to this fact by placing a painting of an elephant over the fireplace. Centered on the mantelpiece is a skeletal bust of Death, inscribed with Discite Mori (Learn to Die). This reminder that the pleasures of life are fleeting and that death will ultimately triumph is tempered by the inscription on the harpsichord: musica pellet curas, or music drives away care.

Details

  • Title: Fantasy Interior with Jan Steen and the Family of Gerrit Schouten
  • Creator: Jan Steen
  • Date Created: 1659 - 1660
  • Physical Dimensions: w1009.65 x h844.55 in (Unframed)
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Culture: Dutch

Additional Items

Fantasy Interior with Jan Steen and the Family of Gerrit Schouten (Supplemental)

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