Jan Steen (Leiden 1626-1679)
“ ! ”: Lot is imported from outside the EU. For ea… Read more
Jan Steen (Leiden 1626-1679)

The Proposition: figures in an interior

Jan Steen (Leiden 1626-1679)
The Proposition: figures in an interior
signed with monogram 'JS.' (JS linked, lower left)
oil on panel
29.5 x 24.2 cm.
Joseph Strutt (1765-1844), Mayor of Derby, and by descent to his daughter, Isabella Galton, née Strutt, wife of John Howard Galton, Hadzor House, Worcestershire, where seen by Dr. Waagen in 1850 in Mrs. Galton's Sitting-room, and thence by descent to their grandson, Captain Hubert George Howard Galton (1854-1928), His estate sale; Christie's, London, 22 June 1889, lot 65 (25 gns. to Corbett).
Adriaan Holzman van Baarle van Romunde, Amsterdam, His deceased sale; C.F. Roos, Amsterdam, 31 October 1905.
G.F. Waagen, Art Treasures in Great Britain, III, Letter XXVI, p. 224, as 'The Wooing'.
Special notice

“ ! ”: Lot is imported from outside the EU. For each Lot the Buyer’s Premium is calculated as 37.75% of the Hammer Price up to a value of €30,000, plus 31.7% of the Hammer Price between €30,001 and €1,200,000, plus 22.02% of any amount in excess of €1,200,000.

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Kimberly Oldenburg
Kimberly Oldenburg

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Lot Essay

When Dr. Waagen visited Hadzor House in 1850, he described this picture as 'The Wooing', "Of very animated motives, and painted in an harmonious but subdued tone". Indeed, the theme of elder men trying to gain the love of a young woman; their wealth in return, was immensely popular in 17th Century Dutch art and literature. The other motive of this painting, that of the Procuress, the matchmaker, enjoyed similar liking. Here the girl is faced with the choice between the young musician, provocatively showing her his flute, and the rich old man, who, with the help of the matchmaker, is offering her his fortune, and perhaps even marriage in the form of the document he is holding in his left hand. This painting is a beautiful example of Steen's mastery of telling a story in a single image.

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