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

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


      • Judith Leyster (Dutch, 1609–1660)
      • Oil on canvas, 74.6 x 65.1 cm
      • c. 1630
      • National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

      Learn more about the painting at the National Gallery of Art

          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.

          Current and past exhibitions featuring Judith Leyster:

          Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe, 1400–1800 at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 30–July 1, 2024. The show was on previously (October 1, 2023–January 7, 2024) at the Baltimore Museum of Art

          Ingenious Women: Women Artists and their Companions at Kunstmuseum Basel from March 2–June 30, 2024. The exhibition was previously hosted (October 14, 2023–January 28, 2024) at Bucerius Kunstforum in Hamburg.

          Maestras: Women Artists at Arp Museum from February 25–June 16, 2024. The exhibition was previously hosted (October 31, 2023–February 4, 2024) at Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid.

          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 Art Herstory blog:

          Judith Leyster, Leading Star


          A Space of Their Own: Explore >

          The National Gallery, Washington DC: Explore >

          The National Museum of Women in the Arts: Explore >

          The Kremer Collection: Explore >

          The Frans Hals Museum: Explore >

          The National Gallery, London: Explore >

          The Paris Review: Explore >




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          Judith Leyster

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