Judith Leyster

Boy Playing the Flute

  • Judith Leyster (Dutch, 1609–1660)
  • Oil on Canvas, 620 x 730 cm
  • Early 1630s
  • Nationalmuseum, Stockholm; Gift 1871 Oskar II @Nationalmuseum

      The Artist

      Leyster, one of the first women to be admitted to the Saint Luke’s Guild of Haarlem, was a Dutch Golden Age painter of still lifes, portraits, and genre scenes. For almost 200 years after her death, her works were attributed either to Frans Hals or to her husband, artist Jan Miense Molenaer. Many were re-attributed to her upon the discovery of her signature, a distinctive monogram of her initials which incorporates a shooting stara play on words with her name, since Leyster means “lode star” in Dutch. Most of her surviving works were painted in her young adulthood, before she married. But a self-portrait she painted later in life has recently come to light.

      As of December 2019, Leyster’s painting Boy Playing the Flute is included in the CODART Canon as one of 100 Dutch/Flemish masterpieces (as voted on by CODART curator-members). Learn more about the painting at Google Arts & CultureNationalmuseum Stockholm

      Books about Judith Leyster


      Judith Leyster: A Woman Painter in Holland’s Golden Age, by Frima Fox Hofrichter (Davaco Publishers, 1989)

      Judith Leyster: A Dutch Master and Her World, edited by Pieter Biesboer and James A. Welu (Yale University Press, 1993)


      A Light of Her Own, by Carrie Callaghan (Amberjack Publishing, 2018)

      Read more online about Judith Leyster at:

      The National Gallery, Washington DC: Explore >

      The National Museum of Women in the Arts: Explore >

      The Frans Hals Museum: Explore >

      The National Gallery, London: Explore >

      The Paris Review: Explore >

      Art Herstory blog page: Explore >





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      Judith Leyster

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