Dutch painter, who is especially noted for his animated, humorous genre scenes. Jan Steen was born in Leiden and educated at the university there. He is believed to have studied oil painting first in Utrecht with German artist Nicolaus Knupfer, and then in The Hague with Dutch landscapist Jan van Goyen, whose daughter he married in 1649. Jan Steen was also influenced by Adriaen van Ostade, a Haarlem genre and landscape painter. Steen lived at The Hague until 1654, when he moved to Delft and, according to tradition, adopted his father's occupation of brewer. He subsequently returned to Leiden, where he opened a tavern in 1672.
Jan Steen was a prolific painter, particularly of lively tavern interiors and of children, although he produced landscapes, portraits, and religious works as well. His best-known paintings include The Cat Family (1660, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest), The Morning Toilet (1663, Buckingham Palace, London), Wedding (1667, Wellington Museum, London), and The Surprise (1675, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City).
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