Mauritshuis Museum acquires Jan Steen painting
The Mauritshuis museum in The Hague has acquired a historical painting by Jan Steen 1626-1679. The piece is called Moses and Pharaoh’s Crown, and was painted in about 1670. The museum said that the work comes from a private collection, but declined to comment on how much it paid for its most recent acquisition.
The museum already has 14 works by Jan Steen in its collection, but so far lacked an example of his historical pieces. According to the Mauritshuis, "The masterly painted work shows that Jan Steen was an unrivalled storyteller."
The painting depicts a less well-know episode from Moses' childhood which is not related in the Bible. The prophet is depicted as a crying toddler seeking refuge in his stepmother's arms. Behind the child sits pharaoh, slumped on his throne, while a stooped advisor whispers something in his ear.
Jan Steen is primarily known for his works showing daily life, but he also painted about 70 historical works. The painting will be put on display as part of the exhibition Leven in de brouwerij: Jan Steen in het Mauritshuis Spice of Life: Jan Steen in the Mauritshuis which opens on 3 March.
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