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Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
This apparently cosy domestic scene delivers a strong moralising message. A tablet on the mantlepiece bears the phrase: 'Easy come, easy go', which means that in gambling any winnings are soon lost again. It is a warning against betting on backgammon, which is being played in the room beyond.
Jan Steen is known for his humorous depictions of the everyday life of farmers and the middle-classes in 17th-century Holland. He worked in The Hague, Haarlem, Delft, where he also rented a brewery, and Leiden where he ran an inn. His genre paintings as a rule had a strong moralistic meaning, some of them even examples of Old Dutch proverbs. People still talk of a 'household by Jan Steen' to refer to a messy and exuberant way of house-keeping.
material and technique: oil on canvas
kind of object: painting
creditline: Verworven met de verzameling van / Acquired with the collection of: D.G. van Beuningen 1958
inventory number: 2527 (OK)