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As the Old Sing, So Pipe the Young
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rzarlif's picture

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Jan Steen was a jolly guy and loved a good proverb. Here he portrays ‘As the old sing, so pipe the young’ (soo voer gesongen, soo na gepepen).

That is, kids copy adults, for good and often enough for bad. 

Steen liked a good laugh and did not spare himself or his family. In this case the kids are ‘piping’ (imitating) the vices of the Steen adults. One son is smoking a pipe while another is playing the bagpipes, probably a less serious vice. Steen is merrily lighting his son’s pipe; the full-bodied lady, Grietje van Goyen, mother of Jan's children is going in for a wine refill. A pleasantly soused and near-sighted granny is singing from a sheet of music and a full bearded grandfather watches the whole thing with a sleepy amusement.

Only the dog seems virtuous.

 

 

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Here is what Wikipedia says about "As the Old Sing, So Pipe the Young" (Jan Steen)

Soo voer gesongen, soo na gepepen is a c.1668–1670 oil-on-canvas painting (H 133.7 cm × W 162.5 cm) by Dutch artist Jan Steen, that is currently featured in the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague. The painting is a celebratory holiday scene that depicts three generations of a Dutch family, and serves as an allegory about parental examples, vice, and influence. This subject has been painted thirteen times by Jan Steen and has also been known as The Cat Family, or Jan Steen's Family. Of the many renditions, the Mauritshuis version is considered to be the exemplar of the series.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about "As the Old Sing, So Pipe the Young" (Jan Steen).