Olga's Gallery

Judith Leyster Biography

Judith Leyster Portrait

Judith Leyster (also: Leijster) was born in 1609 into the family of a Haarlem brewer. She was one of the very few women to be accepted as a member to the Haarlem Lukas Guild of Painters. Although she was highly esteemed by her contemporaries, she remained unknown for a long time and her works were either believed lost, or were attributed to

Frans Hals. Judith is believed to be Hals’ pupil, she worked in his studio in Haarlem in about 1630; at that period she tried to follow his style. She was definitely a friend of Hals’ family, because in 1631 she became godmother to Hals’ daughter Maria. In 1636, Judith married the genre painter Jan Miense Molenaer. In her early works, the young Leyster, like Hals, followed the style of the Utrecht Caravagisti. However, her later portraits and genre scenes were strongly influenced by the painting of Terbrugghen and Honthorst.

The artist died in Heemstede in 1660.