PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN
Painter: Judith Leyster (Haarlem 1608 - Heemstede 1660)
Official title: Portrait of an unknown woman
Original: Oil on panel, 41x54 cm, wxh
CREDIT: Purchased with the support of the Rembrandt Association
About the painting Portrait of a woman
We see a woman in a dark dress, with a wide expensive collar, a 'millstone collar'. Judith Leyster was the first woman to become a member of Haarlem's St Luke's guild of painters. She derived her name from her father's brewery: De Leystarre.
Whether Leyster was an apprentice of Frans Hals (as is often assumed), is questionable. The paintings of Judith Leyster are very similar to those of Frans Hals. They often chose the same subjects: playing children, portraits, dancing and drinking figures. Leyster's style of painting is also similar to that of Hals: the brushstroke (the way brushstrokes are seen on the canvas) is loose but accurate.
The painting was long attributed to Frans Hals. Leyster's monogram, JL* (as in: Lei star, a reference to the leading pole star) was not noticed.
About Judith Leyster
Judith was a well-known female artist of the Dutch seventeenth century. She worked alternately in Haarlem and Amsterdam, and in 1633 became the first female painter to join Haarlem's Guild of St Luke. This earned her the title of master painter. Judith Leyster mainly painted genre scenes, portraits and still lifes. In June 1636, Judith Leyster married Jan Miense Molenaar, also a painter. Judith gave priority to caring for her family of five children. Because of this, hardly any of her work is known after 1636 and probably no longer under her own name.
A cooperation with the Frans Hals Museum Haarlem®
PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN BY JUDITH LEYSTER ON YOUR WALL?
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