Jan Steen often included his own portrait in his riotous household and inn scenes. In this raucous tavern scene, he is the man who lifts the woman's skirt. The rowdy character of the scene is further enhanced by other details with obvious erotic connotations: the frying-pan handle, the pipe stem, the gesture of the man filling a pipe as well as the broken eggs. However, it is not clear whether such a scene was meant to simply humour the viewer, or whether it was meant as a warning against intemperance and immoral behaviour.
1626 - 1679
The Interior of an Inn ('The Broken Eggs')
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
43.3 x 38.1 cm
Bequeathed by Sir Otto Beit, 1941
Location in Gallery