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Jan Steen
Nationality: 
dutch
Gender: 
Male
Birth Date: 
1626
Death Date: 
1679
Much of Jan Steen's career took place in his native Leiden, where he enrolled in the university as a literature student in 1646 and joined the newly founded Guild of Saint Luke in 1648. The following year he married Margaretha, the daughter of the painter Jan van Goyen. After Margaretha's death, Steen married Maria van Egmont in 1673. Steen worked in The Hague from 1649 to 1654; lived in Delft for two years; spent the years from 1656 to 1660 in Warmond; 1661 to 1669 in Haarlem; and finally in 1670 settled again in his native Leiden, where he remained until his death. Contemporary sources are silent about his artistic training. However, his eighteenth-century biographers Arnold Houbraken and Jacob Campo Wyerman place him in the studios of Nicolas KnOpfer in Utrecht, Adriaen van Ostade in Haarlem, and with Jan van Goyen in The Hague. While some of these supposed influences are more difficult to discern in his work, the impact of Isaac van Ostade and of the Rembrandt pupil Jacob de West, both from The Hague, and of the Utrecht painter Joost Cornelisz. Droochsloot, can also be demonstrated. Most of these artists are known primarily for their genre scenes, and with the exception of a small number of early landscapes, it is this subject matter that would occupy Steen throughout his career. However, in addition to a variety of genre types, including outdoor gatherings, tavern scenes, intimate interiors, riotous scenes of domestic upheaval, he painted serious biblical and mythological subjects. Steen developed into a versatile painter, able to work in both the broadly brushed style characteristic of the Haarlem school and the refined technique popularized by the Leiden fiinschilder.