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December 15, 2016

Mid-Morning Open Thread

Merry Company.jpg

Merry Company on a Terrace
Jan Steen

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art website...

In this late painting of about 1673–75, Steen casts himself as the inebriated innkeeper on the left. The artist's second wife, Maria, probably modeled for the provocatively posed hostess (she wears an apron) in the center. Her glass and the fat man's jug are sexually suggestive, but the woman's familiarity with the young musician and the shape of his cittern suggest that he has more to offer her. The overdressed boy serves as a marginal remark about the adults' behavior: a bridled horse and a whip usually stand for Temperance, but not when hitched to a spoiled brat and his indignant dog. The man with a sausage pinned to his hat is Hans Wurst, a fool familiar from the comic stage. Steen wittily blends symbols and themes (for example, child-rearing and the Garden of Love) into an original creation, quite as the picture's style seems to blend oil and water by mixing the manners of Gerard ter Borch and Jacob Jordaens.

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posted by CBD at 09:40 AM

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