Saturday, May 2, 2015

Jan Steen - Girl Eating Oysters

Jan Steen - Girl Eating Oysters (ca. 1658-1660, Mauritshuis, The Hague)

This is the smallest painting Jan Steen ever made. A young woman (Grietje van Goyen) looks at us coquettishly while sprinkling salt on an oyster. Spread out on the table before her is a beautifully painted still life, consisting of oysters, a Delft blue pitcher next to a glass of wine, and a silver tray containing a half-eaten roll, a little mound of salt and peppercorns spilling out of a paper cone. More oysters are being prepared in the kitchen in the background.

In those days oysters were thought to be an aphrodisiac. Steen alludes to these erotic connotations, making it seem as though this women offers not just oysters but herself as well. As if not wanting to leave us in any doubt, Steen drops yet another hint: behind the woman is a bed with closed curtains.

(source: Mauritshuis)

next episode: Liberation!

2 comments:

  1. What a vivid and sharp painting that is, very lovely, and mostly unique is that amazing expression, as though we've been caught looking in!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I’m not familiar with this one but the detail is amazing and yes, the look is definitely speaking volumes.

    ReplyDelete

I love to read your remarks and suggestions!

Please don't comment using the name 'Anonymous', because unfortunately these will end up in the spam department, due to the large bots leaving anonymous comments with questionable links...

ShareThis

Gadgets By Spice Up Your Blog Real Time Web Analytics