Painters Paintings Jan Steen (c. 1626 – 1679): St. Nicholas Feast, 1663-65, oil on canvas, 82 x 70…
Painters Work Jan Steen (c. 1626 – 1679): St. Nicholas Feast, 1663-65, oil on canvas, 82 x 70.5 cm , Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
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This portray by Jan Steen exhibits feast of St. Nicholas, which most Dutch have fun on the night of December fifth as a centuries-old custom within the Netherlands. St. Nicholas (or Sinterklaas, because the Dutch say) is principally a youngsters’s feast: they get presents from St. Nicholas, who rides the rooftops on his horse and brings presents by means of the chimney. Kids sing carols and go away their footwear empty earlier than the hearth, to see them stuffed with presents from the Saint after they return. That’s, if they’ve been obedient; naughty youngsters will discover nothing or a birch rod of their shoe.
The determine of Sinterklaas relies on bishop Nicholas of Myra, a metropolis in Asia Minor, who lived across the flip of the fourth century. He was recognized for his charity and have become the patron saint of sailors and youngsters. The truth that the Northern Netherlands transformed to Protestantism within the late 16th century didn’t maintain individuals from celebrating this sometimes Catholic feast. In North America, Dutch colonists reinvented their custom away from house, which ultimately led to the looks of one other youngsters’s good friend: Santa Claus.
Jan Steen is, in fact, a superb storyteller and he’s clearly in his component with this topic. He depicts scenes that are nonetheless acquainted to us: the youngsters gazing and pointing on the chimney in awe, the little woman who’s so content material together with her doll and the daddy who watches the entire scene with delight. Probably the most touching component is the crying boy, who will need to have behaved badly and due to this fact didn’t get a gift from Sinterklaas in his shoe. His little brother and sister poke enjoyable at him, however the outdated lady within the again beckons: she has a gift for the naughty boy in spite of everything, hidden backstage.