Judith Leyster - Dutch Baroque Era painter
- Two Children with a Cat, 1629
Judith Leyster (1609–1660) is the most famous female painter of the Dutch Golden Age. Unlike many contemporary female artists, who concentrated on meticulously painting true-to-life flowers and insects, she ventured into more ambitious figure-based projects.
Competing with Frans Hals, Leyster chose remarkably similar themes: portraits, children playing, dancing musicians and a drinking actor. She is also known for her innovative and evocative night scenes, in which she experimented with the subtle effects of light and dark. Like her choice of subject, her brushwork was bold: loose, but poignant. In 1633, Judith Leyster gained the recognition she deserved. She became the first woman to be admitted as a master painter to the prestigious Painters' Guild, thus obtaining the right to establish her own workshop and take on pupils.