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8 pages/≈2200 words
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Visual & Performing Arts
Research Paper
English (U.S.)
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Jan Steen’s Merry Company on a Terrace (Research Paper Sample)


Please read the paper instruction carefully(include the citation attachment) and follow the requirements, especially the citation.
(eg. Please be very careful and do not plagiarize or paraphrase too closely from your sources. For this assignment, if you include ten or more words verbatim from a text – even if you cite your source in a footnote - this constitutes plagiarism. You must always use a footnote as soon as you introduce information or an idea that is not your own. If you quote from a primary source, you must also use a footnote. Students who commit plagiarism in the first version of the paper will fail the assignment and will not have an opportunity to submit a second version.
my choice for the research paper is ) Jan Steen, (Dutch, 1626–1679), Merry Company on a Terrace, ca. 1670, oil on canvas. Accession # 58.59


The recurring theme of a humorous portrayal of mess and disorder in Jan Steen’s Merry Company on a Terrace, ca. 1670, shows different elements of foolishness in varying areas of the painting. Jan Steen’s comical exaggerations of foolishness in the painting includes: the foolishness of substance abuse, the foolishness of child rearing and the foolishness of love. Unlike the other Dutch paintings, this artwork depicts a less serious tone and has a jollier atmosphere in the context of the painting's setting. A swift glance will direct the viewer’s eyes towards the eyes of the blonde lady that is wearing a transparent bluish blouse that is holding an emptied wine glass in the middle of the complete disorder of her background while insinuating the viewer’s eyes with some sexual innuendos. The people at the chaotic background put off a merry vibe while enjoying a close knit feast with musicians and drunkards. One of the drunkards, located at the far left of the painting, is gazing towards the viewers with a white sideways hat and a reddish face. His visual appearance is depicted by Jan Steen as if he is the drunkest among the other drunkards in the painting. At a closer look, there are also children and animals in the painting. In front of the aforementioned drunkard is a small toddler with a toy horse tied to a dog and another child that is being carried by an old woman is about to grab a glass of wine that is being given by an old man to the old woman. Directly above the old man is an empty bird cage where the bird that is supposed to be confined is seen outside the cage. Although areas of the masterpiece are depicted with chaos, Jan Steen managed to harmonize disorder in the painting. The visual aesthetic of the artwork shows symbols for humorous disorder that represent different elements of foolishness in substance abuse, child rearing and love.[Liedtke, Walter. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2 Vols. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007), 844.] [Walter, Dutch Paintings, 844.] [Walter, Dutch Paintings, 844.]
Jan Steen is a less famous artist during the Dutch golden age of painting compared to the likes of other famous Dutch artist such as Rembrandt, Hals and Vermeer. Steen was generally known by the public about his merry genre paintings where he visually illustrates the everyday life of a person. One notable element and style of Jan Steen's work is the recurring insertions of his self-portrait blending within the scenes of his paintings. According to the National Gallery of Art, this style of self-insertion of artist in their artworks had already been practiced since the time of the Italian Renaissance. Added by the National Gallery of Art, this style of blending in self-portraits can be observed in the works of multiple Renaissance masters such as Michelangelo and Raphael, especially in their works with historical or Biblical settings. In Jan Steen’s case, he fused his self- portrait painting and genre painting imbued with his merry styles. The painting Merry Company on a Terrace, ca. 1670, is one of the artworks where Jan Steen inserted his self-portrait within the narrative context of a chaotic household. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jan Steen is as the drunken person seen with the sideways white hat located at the far left part of the painting. The Metropolitan Museum of Art added that Jan Steen added the image of his wife, which is located at the middle of the artwork wearing the bluish blouse that is directly looking at the viewers. Although Jan Steen illustrates himself as a drunkard in a messy and disordered environment, there are no records that support his drunken demeanor and messy life choices; on the contrary, Steen was always accounted for as a respectable member of the Leiden guild and a good resident of their town.[Brown...

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