|"The Young Flute Player" by Judith Leyster, 1635, Nationalmuseum (National Gallery of Sweden)|
Judith Leyster (1609-1660) was born in Haarlem to parents in the textile industry. Her father later owned a brewery and the family name, which means “lodestar,” came from the name of their business. The first apparent reference to Leyster appears in Ampzing’s 1628 edition of Description and Praise of the City of Haarlem in Holland: “*see here another who paints with a good, keen sense.” This would indeed have been a compliment to a 19-year-old Leyster. Her early paintings closely resembled those of Frans Hals, but there is no documented evidence that she studied with Hals. In 1634 Leyster was admitted to the Haarlem’s Guild of St. Luke, a necessary step for establishing herself as a professional painter in her own right. She married another painter, Jan Molenaer, and they had four children, two whom survived them. Although we know little of Leyster’s work after her marriage, her reputation remained excellent, so it is possible that she continued to produce a considerable number of paintings, and that most of her later work has yet to be rediscovered through reattribution. For example, her painting The Jolly Toper was first assumed to be by Frans Hals and was purchased as such by the Rijksmuseum in 1897; in 1927 it was reattributed to Leyster and its value dropped.
My favorite painting by Leyster is The Young Flute Player (1635 ). When I first saw it I was smitten with the luminosity on the figure and wall, the boy’s expression, and the arrangement of elements in the composition. Leyster’s genre paintings contain quiet passages of color alongside areas of more energetic brushwork, her colors are subtle, the light glows. Leyster stands out as one of my favorites of the 17th Century Dutch painters.
Well, James and Pieter Biesboer, eds.
Judith Leyster: A Dutch Master and Her World
CLICK HERE TO SEE JUDITH LEYSTER'S PAINTING IN THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART IN WASHINGTON, DC
Alexandra Tyng is a realist painter whose method combines traditional methods with a contemporary viewpoint. Her website is:
CLICK HERE TO VISIT ALEXANDRA TYNG'S WEBSITE
|"Scavengers" by Alexandra Tyng, 60 x 60 in|