The Merry Family, Jan Havicksz. Steen, 1668

The Merry Family, Jan Havicksz. Steen, 1668

oil on canvas, h 110.5cm × w 141cm. More details

This boisterous family is making a lot of noise: the father sings at the top of his lungs while raising a glass; the mother and grandmother chime in; and the children are either blowing into a wind instrument or smoking a long pipe. The note hanging from the mantelpiece gives away the moral of the story: ‘As the old sing, so shall the young twitter.’ What will become of the children if their parents set the wrong example?

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