Jan Steen is surely one of the most amusing painters of the seventeenth century. His paintings reveal a keen interest in scenes from ordinary life, for weddings and feasts, for the celebration of St. Nicholas and the Epiphany, all shown with a comical note. He was also a superb technician with remarkable methods of working. This book discusses the many works by Steen held in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, and goes on to explore his entire oeuvre. In addition it also describes his life, his self image and his reputation. The elusive Steen was more than just a comedian and the symbol of a disorderly household; he was also a connoisseur of art, theater and the stories of classical mythology and the Bible. Jan Steen deserves the fullest praise and this book will serve as a tribute to this talented artist.