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The Art Story Homepage Artists Judith Leyster
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Judith Leyster

Dutch Painter

Movements and Styles: Dutch Golden Age, The Baroque

Born: ca. July 28, 1609 - Haarlem

Died: February 10, 1660 - Heemstede

Judith Leyster Timeline

Summary of Judith Leyster

Overlooked by art historians for centuries, Judith Leyster was a central figure in the Dutch Golden Age. A recognized master, her lively genre scenes built upon contemporary trends with their informality and technical mastery. In particular, she was known for upbeat, informal images of happy musicians and raucous groups. She was financially successful and respected by her peers, yet centuries of misattribution and neglect sidelined her legacy until more recent scholarship that focused on forgotten women artists.

Key Ideas

Painting lively scenes of musicians and drinkers, Leyster specialized in capturing the leisures and entertainments of the Dutch Republic during the 17th century. Her relatable subjects and informal, but technically precise, style reveal an artist who was connected to international trends of Baroque painting, but added to them her independent vision and style.
Leyster's jovial subjects appear to enjoy life, yet she also imbued these works with potential moralizing interpretations. This was common among Dutch Baroque painters, who sought alternatives to traditional religious subjects but still desired some larger symbolic meaning in their work. Leyster's paintings, however, tend to remain ambiguous and subtle, encouraging the viewers to draw their own conclusions.
Forgotten by art history, Judith Leyster's legacy was recovered by feminist art historians who, beginning in the 1970s, began to question the absence of women from the history of art. Leyster's 17th-century success and subsequent erasure from history provides one important example of the many women who have been omitted from the artistic canon.
Judith Leyster Life and Legacy

Judith Jans Leyster was born in Haarlem, the Netherlands, in July 1609, the eighth of nine children. Her mother, Trijn Jaspers, was a weaver, and her father was a brewer who was born as Jan Willemsz, but had adopted the surname "Leyster," meaning "lodestar," in 1603.

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Judith Leyster
Interactive chart with Judith Leyster's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
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Artists

Hendrick ter Brugghen
CaravaggioCaravaggio
Gerrit van Honthorst

Personal Contacts

Frans HalsFrans Hals
Gerrit van Honthorst
Hendrick ter Brugghen
Dirck van Baburen
Adam Elsheimer

Movements

Genre painting
Portraiture
Still-life
Utrecht Caravaggisti
Influences on Artist
Influences on Artist
Judith Leyster
Judith Leyster
Years Worked: 1629 - 1654
Influenced by Artist
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Claude MonetClaude Monet
Édouard ManetÉdouard Manet
Gustave CourbetGustave Courbet

Personal Contacts

Jan Miese Molenaer
Dirck Bleker
Jan Steen
Jacques de Claeuw

Movements

ImpressionismImpressionism
RealismRealism

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Katie da Cunha Lewin

Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Sarah Archino

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Katie da Cunha Lewin
Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Sarah Archino
Available from:
First published on 27 May 2019. Updated and modified regularly. Information
[Accessed ]