A peasant family sits around a wooden table in a Dutch kitchen. The room's exposed rafters, assorted domestic objects on shelves, and cobbled floor are all rendered in careful detail. A woman serves a man who blows on his soup to cool it. A young child faces her, holding a spoon in his upraised hand and begging for food. A lively young woman wearing a large straw hat and an old woman fill the space between the eating man and the standing woman. A crude fellow in the background spoons soup into his grinning mouth. Next to the open door, a satyr leans on a staff and points an admonishing finger at the peasant family. The satyr has noticed that the peasant blows both on his hands to warm them and on his soup to cool it. He will turn to leave the house because he cannot trust someone who blows "both hot and cold with the same breath."

The artist Jan Steen painted this subject, known originally from Aesop's Fables, many times. Throughout the 1600s, this moralistic tale was a popular subject for Dutch and Flemish painters.


  • Title: The Satyr and the Peasant Family
  • Creator: Jan Steen
  • Date Created: about 1660–1662
  • Location Created: Netherlands
  • Physical Dimensions: 52.1 × 47.6 cm (20 1/2 × 18 3/4 in.)
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 69.PA.15
  • Culture: Dutch
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Formerly the property of the Philippson family of Brussels, looted by the Nazis, purchased by the Museum in 1969, and owned by the Museum pursuant to an agreement with the Philippson family in 2003
  • Creator Display Name: Jan Steen (Dutch, 1626 - 1679)
  • Classification: Paintings (Visual Works)

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps