The Wedding Party

Jan Steen (1625/26-1679)

Steen was born in Leiden and was a pupil of Jan van Goyen, and worked both in Delft and The Hague.

Steen favoured these vibrant and riotous scenes of Dutch life painted with meticulous attention to detail. He is also known for his moralising portrayals of peasant life.

The bride and groom are difficult to spot sitting under the central wreath at the back of the picture. The wedding guests are engaged in games, music and even dancing on the table. The man in the foreground is intended as a self-portrait.

The artist kept an inn in Leiden so was probably used to lively drunken scenes.