Jan Havicksz. Steen: Portrait of Arent Oostwaert and his Wife, Catharina Keizerswaard (1658)
(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)A painting by the Dutch artist Jan Havicksz. Steen (1626-1679). The couple on this painting is Arent van Oostwaert (1630-1695) and his wife Catharina Keizerswaard (...-1676). Arent van Oostwaert was a baker in the town of Leiden who had his shop first at the Coornbrugsteeg but later moved to 'at the Rhine' (now at the Aalmarkt). The couple gave their notice of marriage on Augustus 18, 1657 and married on September 7 that same year so this painting was probably commissioned to celebrate this occasion. Arent, unbuttoned and flushed with the heat of the oven, is standing in front of his shop while his wife looks on with pursed lips and a calculating eye (undoubtedly she was in control of the financial matters of the business). Presented on the counter is a wide array of bread: a large loaf on a peel, pretzels, bagels, rolls and a festive fancy bread called a 'duivekater' (a type of sweat bread). The young boy on the right is the 7 year old Thaddeus, a son of Jan Steen, who is blowing on a horn to notify customers that fresh bread is available. The vine at the top refers to the marital fidelity. Painting from 1658.