Art Sunday #155: Jan Steen – Children Teaching a Cat to Dance


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Daily life was Jan Steen’s main pictorial theme. Many of the genre scenes he portrayed, as in The Feast of Saint Nicholas, are lively to the point of chaos and lustfulness, even so much that “a Jan Steen household”, meaning a messy scene, became a Dutch proverb (een huishouden van Jan Steen). Subtle hints in his paintings seem to suggest that Steen meant to warn the viewer rather than invite him to copy this behaviour. Many of Steen’s paintings bear references to old Dutch proverbs or literature. He often used members of his family as models, and painted quite a few self-portraits in which he showed no tendency of vanity.

Steen did not shy from other themes: he painted historical, mythological and religious scenes, portraits, still lifes and natural scenes. His portraits of children are famous. He is also well known for his mastery of light and attention to detail, most notably in Persian rugs and other textiles.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Steen

 

21 responses to “Art Sunday #155: Jan Steen – Children Teaching a Cat to Dance

  1. I guess it’s true what they say about art imitating life and vice versa! This one takes me back to my childhood in Holland when we would all sit around the table reading stories by Hans Christian Andersen and then my sister would pick up her flute and we would try to teach the cat to dance. Ahhhh… Good Times! We were all hoping that the cat would one day learn how to dance and we could put him in Show Business and become rich so we wouldn’t have to sit around the table reading stories by Hans Christian Andersen… especially that little Match Girl Story. Yikes! We would all get so depressed that we would put the cat out and go to bed so depressed that we dreamt about all the dykes breaking and putting us out of our misery. Artsy-fartsy!👍👍
    ^^🐵

    Liked by 3 people

    • yeh that is kinda depressing. who needs that anyway? who’s lame brain idea was it to post a painting like this that would bring back such depressing memories???

      Liked by 2 people

      • Well, it’s a lovely painting for people who aren’t from Holland… if a painting matches the sofa that’s a good sign. Hans Christian Andersen has spoiled many a good painting which makes it hard to understand how the Dutch boy Paint Company became so successful. most of Holland is below sea level which probably explains why they can’t settle on one name for their country. Is it Holland or is it Denmark? I blame it all on Hans Christian Andersen. he was probably stoned on all the legal drugs. what was going on with that other Dutch painter… Vincent van Gogh? now there’s a real nut case. a good painter but a nutcase… I suppose it doesn’t matter because they’ll be underwater soon from global warming.
        ^^🙈

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      • wow! Hans sure has you messed it. is it Holland or The Netherlands??? But isn’t “Holland” a city in Michigan that makes farm implements of destruction? maybe I’m wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I forgot about the Netherlands! I think “Nether regions” would be a better name. Have you ever tried to walk in wooden shoes or Tilt at windmills? Okay… I admit that tulips are nice but don’t plant the bulbs in Spring! no wonder Vincent went crazy!😒🌱🌷😑
        ^^🙈

        Liked by 1 person

      • taking on windmills will a lance was in Spain but I thought it was a mucher betterer idea to drink sangria and wink at the pretty Spanish ladies. I heard at one time the US Army was gonna adopt wooden boots and use them as a means to be able to cross rivers. but that would have meant importing them and you know how the new age Republicans are totally against imports and anything that they can’t make a buck or two on.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve been thinking it over and maybe it would be possible to open the world’s first Dutch restaurant franchise! I could call it Vincent van Glutton’s Dutch Oven!👍👍
        ^^🐵

        Liked by 1 person