(b. 1650, Haarlem, d. 1702, Haarlem)

St Nicholas Eve

Oil on canvas, 49 x 65 cm
Amstelkring Museum, Amsterdam

In this depiction of St Nicholas Eve, Richard Brakenburg showed how it was celebrated in the seventeenth century: without today's Sinterklaas but with presents nevertheless. The saint was not always equally generous. One boy has a cane in his shoe. He cries as his sister gets her presents. St Nicholas Eve is still celebrated in the Netherlands on 5 December with the centuries' old tradition of gift giving.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.