(b. 1593, Antwerpen, d. 1678, Antwerpen)

The Bean King

c. 1638
Oil on canvas, 160 x 213 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Jordaens was one of Rubens' most promising students and upon his master's death acquired the title of "principal Antwerp painter". The painting captures The Festival of the Bean King - celebrated on January 6th. A pie containing a single bean is served on this day and the guest who receives it becomes the "Bean King". Three people are recognizable in the painting: "The Bean King" - Jordaens' father-in-law; the woman to the left - Jordaens' wife, Elizabeth; and the man with the upraised pitcher, Jordaens himself.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 5 minutes):
Otto Nicolai: Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (The Merry Wives of Windsor), drinking song