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The Feast of the Bean King

around 1640/45, Artist: Jacob Jordaens



The Feast of the Bean King

The painting depicts the Flemish folk custom on Epiphany Day: the person able to find a bean hidden in a cake becomes king of the Feast, and then chooses the most beautiful woman as queen. Those others present assume “honorary offices”. The Latin inscription (in English: “None is closer to the fool than the drunkard”) lends the degenerate carryings-on a moralistic undertone. Artistically Jordaens absorbed himself in the art of Caravaggio, Rubens and other Dutch painters, yet developed a characteristic style of his own.

Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Saal XV

Object data

Object Name





around 1640/45


Jacob Jordaens (1593 Antwerpen - 1678 Antwerpen) - GND




242 cm × 300 cm
Framed: 287,5 cm × 346 cm × 18 cm


Auf der Kartusche im Hintergrund der Spruch: NIL. SIMILIVS. INSANO. QVAM. EBRIVS.

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie

Inv. No.

Gemäldegalerie, 786


Coll. Leopold Wilhelm

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