The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House

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Jan Steen (1626 - 1679)
  • Place of Birth: Leiden, The Netherlands
  • Place of Death: Leiden, The Netherlands
Biography
Works of Art

Born in Leiden, he was twenty when he enrolled at the University of Leiden in 1646. Houbraken said he was the pupil of van Goyen (whose daughter he later married), and Weyerman that he was also the pupil of N. Knüpfer at Utrecht and A. van Ostade, in Haarlem.

In 1648 he was one of the first members of the Leiden guild of which he was later to be hoofdman (1672-3) and dean (in 1674). He was in The Hague 1649 54; his father leased a brewery for him in Delft 1654-7, and from 1657-1660 he was living in Warmond, near Leiden.

By 1661 he had settled in Haarlem where he stayed until 1670 when he inherited a house in Leiden. There he opened an inn in 1672 and was buried on 3 February 1679. A painter of considerable comic genius, his work led to him being regarded as a profligate- for which there is
no firm evidence. He also painted a number of religious subjects.