Friday, December 18

Sinterklaas is Coming to Town!

The Dutch are often credited for bringing Santa Claus to the US, though that is definitely up for debate (the Calvinists of the 16th century Netherlands weren't exactly keen on Catholic Saint Days!)

But the Dutch did (and still do) celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas with a visit from "Sinterklaas" on December 6 and this amusing genre scene by famous Dutch Master Jan Steen captures the excitement and chaos of Christmas morning.

The Feast of St. Nicholas
Jan Steen, 1663-1665
Rijkmuesum, Amsterdam

As her amused parents look on, the little girl at the center of painting excitedly throws her empty shoe on the floor to hug the small treats that St. Nick left for her the night before.

But her disobedient brother awoke to disappointment, finding only a switch in his shoe:

In the background, the oldest brother points out Sinterklaas' favorite way in to his siblings, the chimney:

Will your house look like Jan Steen's next week?

No comments:

Post a Comment