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'Easy Come, Easy Go'

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  • Sarah asked

    What can you tell me about the thesis that Jan Steen painted himself in this artwork?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Hi Sarah, the figures in the painting are fictitious but Jan Steen probably used his own face as inspiration for the laughing figure in the middle. This man certainly looks like Steen himself. kind regards, Sophie


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  • Forgotten meanings

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.

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Collection book

Collection book Order


Title 'Easy Come, Easy Go'
Material and technique Oil on canvas
Object type
Painting > Painting > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Width 104 cm
Height 79 cm
Artists Schilder: Jan Havicksz. Steen
Accession number 2527 (OK)
Credits Verworven met de verzameling van / Acquired with the collection of: D.G. van Beuningen 1958
Department Old Masters
Acquisition date 1958
Age artist About 35 years old
Collector Collector / D.G. van Beuningen
Internal exhibitions The Collection Enriched (2011)
De collectie als tijdmachine (2017)
External exhibitions De verbeelding van de Nederlandse spreekwoorden (2006)
Boijmans bij de Buren - Samensmeden, Meesters in zilver (2019)
Research Alma
Geographical origin Northern Netherlands > The Netherlands > Western Europe > Europe

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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