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The Feast of Saint Nicholas

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  • Antonia asked

    What is the object next to the brazier and the pink skirt?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dear Antonia, this painting depicts a celebration of Saint Nicholas. In the Netherlands this feast is accompanied with presents and speciific candies (named 'pepernoten') and cookies (named 'speculaas' and 'taaitaai'). The cookies come in the shape of a doll, in various sizes. This seems to be a large 'taaitaai'-doll. I hope this is helpful. Kind regards, Els

  • Jane Choy asked

    What is the round object that the little girl is holding?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Hi Jane, the girl is holding a kind of spiced biscuit: 'speculaas'. A treat that people in The Netherlands today still eat and receive as a gift during the feast of St. Nicolas. best, Sophie


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More information


Title The Feast of Saint Nicholas
Material and technique Oil on panel
Object type
Painting > Painting > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Dimensions Width 49 cm
Height 58,5 cm
Artists Painter: Jan Havicksz. Steen
Accession number 1826 (OK)
Credits From the estate of F.J.O. Boijmans, 1847
Department Old Masters
Acquisition date 1847
Creation date in circa 1670
Collector Collector / F.J.O. Boijmans
External exhibitions Sinterklaas, wie kent hem niet? (2009)
Winter Tales. Depictions of Winter in European Art from Bruegel to Beuys (2011)
De kunst van het opvoeden (2013)
Langdurig bruikleen Steen, Calvijn, Weenix en Cuyp (2019)
Research Show research Alma
Geographical origin Northern Netherlands > The Netherlands > Western Europe > Europe

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All about the artist

Jan Havicksz. Steen

Leiden 1626 - Leiden 1679

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,...

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