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Judith Leyster

July 28, 1609 - February 10, 1660


Judith Leyster was a Dutch Golden Age painter and one of the first women registered to the Painter’s Guild in Haarlem. She is often thought to have been influenced by Frans Hals though their relationship is unclear. For nearly 200 years after her death, her work was almost entirely attributed to her husband or fraudulently passed off as the work of Hals. Only when the Louvre acquired a Frans Hals in 1893 was Leyster’s signature discovered, underneath igniting new interest in her work. Some of these works were exalted as Frans Hals best work only to be later revealed as the work of a woman who had been largely dismissed by art historians. Leyster’s style nevertheless indicates her admiration for Hals’ with its open brushwork and focus on one or two foregrounded figures engaged in revelry: typically either music or drinking.

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