This painting depicts a common 17th-century subject—a private music lesson or concert laced with allusions to seduction. Here, a drink is on the table in the foreground, and the large object at the right is likely a bed. Steen is known for his comedic paintings, which can be self-deprecating, satirical, lascivious, or all three. He often "cast" himself and his family in his tales of comedy and morality. This piece, memorable as it is for the expression on the man's face, is especially intriguing because the subjects are Steen and his wife.


  • Title: The Music Lesson
  • Creator: Jan Steen
  • Date: c. 1650
  • Location Created: Leiden, North Holland, Netherlands
  • Physical Dimensions: w10 x h12.5 in.
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on Panel

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