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Jan Steen (Leiden 1626-Leiden 1679)

A Twelfth Night Feast: 'The King drinks' c.1661

RCIN 407489

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George IV acquired seven genre scenes by this bawdy Dutch artist. Steen, who owned an inn, often included himself in his paintings – here he flourishes three pipes while cheering in the centre background. The scene shows the climax of Twelfth Night festivities where the elected ‘king of misrule’ drinks a toast, flanked by a ‘fool’ on his right and ‘gluttony’ on his left.

Purchased by George IV, 1814