Friday, January 20, 2012

Leyster, Judith

c. 1630
oil on canvas
746 × 653 mm (29.37 × 25.71 in)
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

Judith Jans Leyster (also Leijster) (1609 – 1660) was a Dutch Golden Age painter. She was born into the family of a Haarlem brewer.
She was one of three significant women artists in Dutch Golden Age painting.
Although well known during her lifetime and esteemed by her contemporaries, Leyster and her work were largely forgotten after her death. Leyster's rediscovery came in 1893. The Louvre had purchased a Frans Hals only to find it had been in fact painted by Judith Leyster. A dealer had changed the monogram that she used as a signature.

Her work was clearly influenced by the content and style of genre paintings created by the noted Haarlem artists Frans Hals. Like him, Leyster had a talent for painting lively scenes of people enjoying themselves in taverns, playing music, and the like. Such subjects were very popular with Holland's newly prosperous middle class.

Leyster largely gave up painting after her marriage, which produced five children.
Most of her dated works are from 1629–1635.
Only about a dozen works are generally attributed to her.
She died in 1660 at the age of 50.