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50 Gulden 1941, Netherlands

in Krause book Number: 59
Years of issue: 08.02.1941
Signatures: President: L.J.A.Trip, Secretaris: J. Westerman Holstijn
Serie: 1940-1941 Issue
Specimen of: 02.01.1941
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 165 х 94
Printer: Joh. Enschede en Zonen, Haarlem

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

50 Gulden 1941




Hand with flamed and abbreviation "DeB" of Netherlands Bank.


50 Gulden 1941

Het oestereetstertje

"Girl Offering Oysters" (Het oestereetstertje), painting by Dutch painter Jan Steen, 1659. Oil on panel. Height: 20.5 cm. ; Width: 14.5 cm. Today painting is in Mauritshuis, in Haague, Netherlands.

The Oyster Eater (Dutch - Het oestereetstertje) or Girl Offering Oysters (Meisje, oesters aanbiedend), is a c.1658-1660 small oil on panel painting by Jan Steen. Since 1936, it has been in the collection of the Mauritshuis in the Hague. This is a genre painting that demonstrates Steen's more intricate style and use of domestic settings. It also shows Steen's use of symbolism with oysters to create a theme of earthly lust.

The main subject of the painting is a young woman salting oysters while making direct eye contact with the viewer. Her expression is flirtatious and communicates to viewers that she is salting the oysters for them.

In The Oyster Eater, Steen uses framing to create a very complicated yet skillful composition. He uses the vertical and horizontal lines of the door frame, bed curtains, and the edge of the table to create an imaginary border around the young woman. The arched top of the painting reflects the curvature of the girl's head and left shoulder. The placement of objects such as the oyster point in a specific direction, allowing the viewer's eye to focus on the figures in the back room. The placement of the background figures in a separate room is common in Dutch paintings and is referred to as doorsien (view through a doorway). This technique also allows the viewer's eye to plunge into the background of a painting. Artists like Steen added doorsien to paintings to create an atmosphere of diligence and desire among the subjects. The use of doorsien also adds a sense of balance between the men in the background and the young woman in the foreground.

In the context of this painting, the oysters convey an erotic meaning. Oysters are thought to be an aphrodisiac, the most seductive being the ones that are rich and full. Empty oyster shells or oysters placed alongside other partially eaten items like in The Oyster Eater imply the temporariness of earthly pleasures, a commonly repeated theme in Dutch art. During the seventeenth century, shells started to make appearances in several Dutch genre paintings or merry company paintings. They were objects of scientific interest to the Dutch who were interested in science and history. Oysters also held an exotic connotation as many featured in Dutch paintings were from different continents, and they were used because they were seen as ancient souvenirs of the past. In paintings that specifically included oysters, they were depicted as oyster meals. Merry company paintings are thought to have originated from early sixteenth-century Flemish mythological paintings. Oysters were a reminder of ancient times and symbolized Aphrodite, the goddess of love, fertility, pleasure, and sex throughout antiquity and all the way into Baroque art. Oysters typically appeared in mythological paintings where Aphrodite and Dionysus were the main deities depicted. The use of the oyster meal in Dutch genre paintings has been separated into two time periods. The first time period lasted approximately from 1610 to 1635. During this time, oysters were shown being consumed in merry company paintings. Before the second time period, the Dutch government acquired control of pearl fisheries in Indian waters in 1658. This happened as a result of conquering the Portuguese. The pearl fisheries led to the development of oyster fisheries, which led to a new interest in the depiction of oysters in genre paintings. In the second time period, which went from 1660 to 1680, oyster paintings were painted in more private settings. Oyster meal paintings of the second time period were all set indoors and displayed some sort of a domestic interior. Unlike the earlier merry company paintings that portrayed feasts, these later oyster paintings usually portrayed some kind of private, romantic meeting.

The style of Steen's The Oyster Eater comes close to the elegant style of Frans van Mieris the Elder. Particularly, the arched top, small size, and extreme care of every small detail resemble the works of Gerrit Dou. He was the great master of "fine painting" in Leiden and Mieris' teacher.

Steen's The Oyster Eater is one of his many genre paintings that he made during the seventeenth century. Steen's genre paintings generally included earthy humor, sometimes with satirical overtones. They expressed the Dutch whim for portraiture, love of the home and family, and for moralistic messages, all typically found in domestic settings. Steen typically depicted his subjects in a favorable or gratifying manner. However, he would also make fun of his subjects by exposing their foolishness or strangeness.

The whereabouts of The Oyster Eater before 1783 are unknown. The painting is known to have been owned by Pieter Locquet who sold it to Pieter van Winter in Amsterdam in September of 1783. Van Winter passed it along to his daughter, Lucretia Johanna van Winter, in 1822. The painting was in her possession all throughout her marriage to Hendrik Six van Hillegom. Then, it was inherited and kept by Jan Pieter and Pieter Hendrik Six van Vromade until 1905. The Oyster Eater was left to Jan Pieter's son, Professor Jan Six, who owned it until the 1920s. In 1928, it was sold again to Beets of Deterding. The painting was gifted to the Mauritshuis by Sir Henri W.A. Deterding in 1936.


50 Gulden 1941


"Winter landscape" (Winterlandschap), painting by the Dutch artist Isaac van Ostade, 1648. Oil on panel. Height: 72 cm.; Width: 114 cm. Today it is in the Hermitage Museum, in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The favorite theme of the Dutch artist Isaac van Ostade was the image of frozen water - "skating rinks". Like his predecessors, Ostade had a penchant for effects of a monotonous grayish character, conveying different states of nature with the help of chiaroscuro.

In the painting “Winter Landscape”, the artist depicted a typical Dutch landscape against the backdrop of a fading day: a village on the shore of a frozen lake, a tavern and a bell tower, a mill in the background and masts of fishing boats. A boy in a wooden sledge rides on the ice, a couple of rich townspeople are going to ride on a sleigh, and a peasant carries a bundle of firewood.

The artist skillfully conveys the state of fading nature: a short winter day is fading before our eyes, the light breaking through the veil of clouds is unable to disperse the early twilight, and black birds are circling above the sharp spire of the bell tower. Carefully traced figures of people and animals and the reflection of the airy sky in the ice turn the "skating rink" into a true masterpiece of the master. (ВТБ Страна .rus)


Designer: L.Gestel.

Issued into circulation at 2 January 1941.