Sunday, January 31, 2010

Carmella at the Feast of Saint Nicholas

Content and Criticism
Carmella at the Feast of Saint Nicholas (c. 1665–1668), is a painting by Dutch master Jan Steen, which can now be found in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

The picture, painted in the chaotic Jan Steen "style," depicts a family at home on December 6, the night celebrated in the Netherlands as the Feast of Saint Nicholas, or Sinterklaas.

The focal point of the painting is the youngest daughter of the family, a golden-child, painted, in fact, in a golden smock and showing golden locks. She has behaved all year, and Saint Nicholas has rewarded her by stuffing her shoe with a doll and other treats, which she carries in her bucket. 

At the girl's feet is the family's little brown dog. She has also been a very good girl. The sweet little dog gnaws intently on a something tasty, oblivious to the family chaos around her.

The happy girl and dog are in stark contrast to the elder brother, standing to their right, who is sobbing, while another brother looks on, laughing. Perhaps, the elder brother has been naughty, and his shoe, held up by an elder sister behind him, was left empty. Or perhaps the shoe is empty because the little brown dog got there first and is actually chewing on his gift with utter abandon.

More Art Hound (by artist)

No comments:

Post a Comment