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Jan (1626) Steen (1626 - 1679)

Lot 45: Jan Steen

Sotheby's

April 26, 2001
London, United Kingdom

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Description

Jan Steen
Leyden 1626 - 1679
'dat heb je niet'
(this thou has not)
signed lower left: J Steen. and inscribed on a label upper right: dat/hebit/niet.
oil on panel
23.8 by 20.6 cm.; 9 1/4 by 8 1/4 in.
This picture was dated by Martin circa 1654-55, and by Braun a year or two earlier (see Literature). Martin pointed out that the letters of the inscription had become slightly altered; originally the middle word was hebje. It is one of only a limited number of single figure compositions by Steen on this intimate scale, comparable, for example, to his series of The Five Senses now at Upton House, near Banbury, dated by Braun (op. cit., p. 94, nos. 61-65) to circa 1653-56.
The tone of this picture is mocking rather than moralising. The miser ('De Vrek') who is boasting of his pot of coins is made fun of rather than demonised; this painting is thus typical of Steen's comical or light-hearted approach to his subject matter. It shares this spirit, for example, with a slightly larger panel (52.5 by 42 cms.) also depicting a Miser ('Een Vrek') which is now in the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, and which is dated by Braun (idem., p. 94, no. 69) slightly later to around 1654-5.
Provenance:
Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, Mak, 3 June 1919;
A. F. Mondschein, New York, 1946 (according to a mount in the Witt Library);
With Koetser, London, by 1946;
Baron L.A.S.J van der Feltz, Brummen, the Netherlands, by 1953;
With P. de Boer, Amsterdam, 1957, from whom acquired by the late owner.
Exhibited:
Arnhem, Gemeente Museum, 17e eeuwse meesters mit gelders bezit, 20 June - 31 August 1953, no. 64;
Amsterdam, P. de Boer, Catalogue of Old Pictures, Summer 1957.
Literature:
C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonne....., London 1907, vol. i, p.45, no. 125a;
W. Martin, Jan Steen, Amsterdam 1954, p. 34, no. 18;
K. Braun, Jan Steen, Rotterdam 1980, p. 92, no. 55, reproduced p. 93.

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April 26, 2001, 12:00 AM EST

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