Steen & Jordaens: As the old sing…

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Steen & Jordaens: As the old sing…

Visit the exhibition about the old Dutch proverb “As the old sing, so pipe the young” with paintings by Jan Steen and Jacob Jordaens.

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“As the old sing, so pipe the young” means that a bad example leads to bad behavior. Jan Steen and Jacob Jordaens both based a painting on this proverb. In the exhibition ‘Steen & Jordaens: As the old sing…’, these special paintings can be seen side by side for the first time.

  • Admire two joyful paintings by Jan Steen and Jacob Jordaens.
  • Find the hidden messages in the paintings.
  • Discover how the two artists tackled their subject.

The exhibition

This summer, a big painting by Jan Steen entitled “As the old sing, so pipe the young” will be in the good company of the painting “As the old sang, so pipe the young” by the Flemish painter Jacob Jordaens. The painting is on loan from the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp and will be featured in the exhibition ‘Steen & Jordaens: As the old sing…’. Both paintings can be admired at the Mauritshuis in The Hague from 11 July 2017 through 14 January 2018

"As the old sing, so pipe the young"

Day-to-day life was a beloved subject of 17th century painters. Steen and Jordaens were experts in this field and represented countless proverbs. They both created a representation of the centuries old proverb “As the old sing, so pipe the young”, which means that a bad example leads to bad behavior. The paintings are not just amusing but also contain subtle hints that tell the viewer what to avoid.

It is said that familiar faces from Jordaens surroundings are pictured in his painting. The old man looks like his teacher and father in law Adam van Noort, for instance, and the bagpipes player may be Jordaens himself. Jan Steen is also represented in his painting as the laughing father who teaches his children how to smoke a pipe.

Visit the Mauritshuis

The Mauritshuis is the museum of 17th and 18th century art and owns some 800 works by the major painters from Holland and Flanders. If you are visiting the Mauritshuis, Girl with a Pearl Earring by Vermeer is a must-see, as are other works by Old Masters from the Golden Age.

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