Jan Steen - THE ARRIVAL OF THE BRIDE
THE ARRIVAL OF THE BRIDE
Oil on panel (parquetted). 57 x 72 cm.
JSteen (JS joined).
In the Netherlands in the 17th century, it was a custom that after the wedding ceremony the bride went to the house of the bridegroom, or to an inn, in order to be received by him. Jan Steen depicts the meeting of the newly-weds in an interior of a tavern. The bridegroom stands at the door, at which the bride with her bridemaid stands.
At first sight, the artist seems to depict the couple with sympathy, but he also makes clear that this is a wedding of peasants and the bridal pair as well as their guests belong to the lower classes. The tavern is a simple building, the decoration is modest and even the feast is missing. The bridegroom wears a colourful costume, but it is nevertheless simple and the black coat he wears like a gentleman seems improper for him. The costume of the bride is also simple and her bridemaid wears a so-called huik, a black hat with a funny decoration - this was a hat that at Steen´s time was already out of fashion. Steen in this painting depicts a timeless story: Peasants in vain trying to be elegant like the upper classes.
Steen depicted the theme of the arrival of the bride in a number of paintings in the 1650s, some of them depicting bourgeois weddings. It was Pieter Bruegehl who had introduced the theme of the peasant´s weddings into Netherlandish art in the second half of the 16th century, partly in large-scale paintings. Steen apprehends this tradition, making it a comic depiction of feasting peasants.
Walther Bernt, Munich, April 1977.
William Charles Arcedeckne Vanneck, 5. Baron Huntingfield, Heveningham Hall, Yoxford, Suffolk. - Christie´s, London, 25.6.1915, lot 114. - With art dealers Ascher and Koetser, London, around 1920. - A. Goekoop Collection, Den Haag. - Alfred Brod Gallery, London. - Private collection, Germany.
Wilhelm Martin: De Jan Steen-Tentoonstelling te London. In: Onze Kunst, XVI (1909), p. 141- 172, see p. 166. - Karel Braun: Jan Steen, Rotterdam 1980, p. 128, no. 290, with ill.
Royal Academy, Burlington House, London, 1907, no. 49. - Dowdeswell, London, 1909, no. 23. - Art dealer Kleykamp, The Hague, 1927, no. 40. - "Jan Steen", Mauritshuis, The Hague, 1958/59, no. 5, ill. 4.