Jan Haviksz Steen

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Steen, Jan Haviksz


Born circa 1626 in Leiden; buried there Feb. 3,1679. Dutch painter.

Steen probably studied with N. Knupfer in Utrecht, A. van Ostade in Haarlem, and J. van Goyen in The Hague. He worked in Leiden (entering the painters’ guild in 1648), The Hague (from 1649), Delft (from 1654), Warmond (from 1656), and Haarlem (1661–70). From 1672 until his death he ran a tavern in Leiden.

Steen painted portraits, landscapes, and biblical scenes, but his specialty was genre painting. Imbued with somewhat coarse folk humor, Steen’s genre scenes are noted for sharp, at times satirical, characterization and a lively narrative quality. These works are often distinguished by a meticulous technique, manifested in the rendering of figures, interior decoration, and costume. Notable examples of Steen’s genre paintings include The Doctor’s Visit (1660, Hermitage Museum, Leningrad) and As It Was Acquired, So It Was Lost (1661, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam).


Ian Sten. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964. (Album compiled and with an introduction by Iu. Kuznetsov.)
Martin, W. Jan Steen. Amsterdam [1954].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.