Judith Leyster

A Dutch Master and Her World

Edited by Pieter Biesboer and James A. Welu

View Inside Price: $70.00

October 9, 1993
256 pages, 9 x 11
200 b/w + 45 color illus.
ISBN: 9780300055641

Out of Print

Judith Leyster (1609-1660), the most famous woman painter of the Dutch golden age, was remarkable for her time. She pursued a profession dominated by men, was the only female member of the painter's guild known to have had a workshop, and is the sole woman artist whose known work attests to an active role in the open market, then a relatively new form of art patronage that was to transform the Dutch art world.

This book gives new insights into Leyster's world—her life, her art, and the society in which she lived. Written by a team of scholars that includes art historians, economic historians, and painting conservators, the book discusses Leyster's life, the close link between art and the economy in Holland at this time, the social factors affecting Leyster and other working women in the seventeenth century, the lives of the major painters who were her contemporaries, the nature of Leyster's painting technique and style, and the unique qualities of her art. The second half of the book reproduces Leyster's paintings--including her captivating scenes of everyday life—and analyzes each in detail. Carefully selected paintings by other artists of the period, including Frans and Dirck Hals and Leyster's husband, Jan Miense Molenaer, are also presented in order to place Leyster's work in the context of Haarlem genre painting at its height.

James A. Welu is director of the Worcester Art Museum. Pieter Biesboer is curator of the Frans Halsmuseum.

"A model of history and connoisseurship. . . . An international team of 12 art, economic, and social historians has pared down Leyster's relatively small output and cautiously reflected upon all issues raised about her life. Highly recommended."—Library Journal

"An authoritative, delightful and informative study of this remarkable woman painter and the society in which she worked. A large, magnificent, strongly bound volume, . . it is the product of a distinguished group of scholars - art historians, painting conservators and historians of economics - who discuss the most famous woman painter of the Dutch Golden Age."—Byron Ireland, Day by Day

"Judith Leyster: A Dutch Master and Her World is an important contribution to our understanding of a woman artist and of cultural production in the seventeenth-century Netherlands. . . . [It] locates Leyster in the complex social, economic, and cultural world of Haarlem genre painting in the early 1600s, and, in doing so, raises important questions about gender, identity, and social order. . . . Both the specialist and the non-expert will come away enriched by the rediscovery of Leyster represented in this work."—Michael Prokopow, The Boston Book Review