This picture is a valuable specimen of the master; brilliant in design, execution, and colouring. The fete is given at the door of a rustic ale house and the truth of a country merry making is here managed with great wit and humour. The animation of the scene, united to the natural expression and breadth of effect make this a desirable specimen for the study of an amateur. Few painters gave more animation to their figures than Jan Steen, or equalled him in the strength of expression. His design was generally correct; his touch light and free; and his colouring always lively and natural. In designing he showed remarkable judgment and skill, for at first sight, one may perceive a proper distinction of the rank and condition of character introduced. The difference between a gentleman and a boor, or those in high or low stations, is easily distinguished by their forms, their attitudes, their air, or expression; and in this respect he appears worthy of being studied by other painters. [P. 11.]
Catalogue of Paintings, by the Great Masters, including Specimens of the First Class, of the Italian, Venetian, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, French, and English Schools. It penetrates the inward recesses of the soul--even surpassing the power and force of eloquence.--Quintillian on the Art of Painting. Boston: Press of John H. Eastburn.