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The Cover
September 17, 2008

The Idlers

JAMA. 2008;300(11):1278. doi:10.1001/jama.300.11.1278

Two windowless walls washed by flat light. A small domestic kitchen, simply furnished, a few common household objects casually placed on a shelf and sideboard. A woman and a man concluding an afternoon of private revelry. Thus is the deceptively simple subject of Jan Steen's The Idlers (cover), undated but believed to have been painted about 1660, just before Steen (1626-1679), leaving behind a failed stint as a brewer in the Dutch city of Delft, moved his family to Haarlem.

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