Jan Steen: Painter And Storyteller

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Jan Steen (1626-1679) is one of the most admired and quintessential seventeenth-century Dutch painters. His repertoire included genre, portraits, refined images of upper-class life, and complex, witty comic narratives. He also painted religious and mythological scenes that vary from quiet and intimate to grand and melodramatic. In his brushwork he displayed an astonishing range, from extremely fine to remarkably loose, even within a single painting.
Written by H. Perry Chapman, Wouter Th. Kloek, and Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr., with contributions by other noted art historians, this book draws on the most recent scholarship and archival research to reassess Steen within the context of seventeenth-century Netherlandish artistic, literary, and cultural movements. A translation of Arnold Houbraken's biography of Steen, written in the eighteenth century, is included, as well as a biographical essay that uses numerous contemporary sources to present the most comprehensive profile on Steen yet published. Other essays discuss Steen's relationship to the theater and to other Dutch painters of the time, his critical reception, and his varied self-portrayals. Fifty of Steen's paintings, chosen to demonstrate his consummate skill as both painter and storyteller, are catalogued in detail.
This lavishly illustrated book is the catalogue for an exhibition of the works of Jan Steen, coorganized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.


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