Judith Leyster images and biography
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Judith Leyster

See also: Women Artists; Baroque Art


Leyster, Judith - Dutch painter. She produced genre scenes, portraits and still lifes, and worked mostly in Haarlem and Amsterdam. At the outset of her career she was influenced by the Utrecht Caravaggisti. She may also have been a pupil of Frans Hals. In fact, her style is sometimes so close to his that it has been difficult to tell the difference (e.g. her copy of Hals' Lute playing Fool, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, was once attributed to Hals). She is mentioned as a painter in a history of Haarlem, written in 1627 (thus by that time she must have been an established painter). By 1633 she was a member of the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke (the first woman known to have been admitted) and by 1635 she had three students. In 1636 she married the painter Jan Miense Molenaer, and the couple moved to Amsterdam until 1648, when they transferred to Heemstede, near Haarlem. They shared a studio, the same models and props often appearing in both their work. Leyster's monogram contains a star motif, a play on her surname 'Ley ster' (lode star).

- From The Bulfinch Guide to Art History

Judith Leyster Images

c. 1635 Self-Portrait

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