Skip to main content

As the Old Sing, So Pipe the Young

c. 1670-1675
Jan Steen, Dutch (active Leiden, Haarlem, and The Hague), 1626 - 1679
This painting is a visualization of a popular Dutch proverb about younger generations following the models of their elders. The proverb, written in Dutch, appears on the sheet of paper at lower left. Steen suggests that older generations may not always set positive examples: the nursing mother at center offers a toast of wine, while the woman to her left offers a child a drink directly from the wine pitcher. The laughing figure standing at center is a self-portrait of the artist, who sets the tone by pointing out the folly and comedy of the scene....

Object Details

We are always learning more about our collection and updating the website. Want to share your knowledge about this work with us? Contact us here.

Please note that this particular artwork might not be on view when you visit. Don’t worry—we have plenty of exhibitions for you to explore.