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?

On display in Gallery of Honour Visit via the Highlights 2 (green) tour Visit via the Highlights Gallery of Honour tour

Listen to audio fragment (from the multimedia tour)

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