Judith Jans Leyster was a Dutch Golden Age painter in the first half of the 17th century. Leyster was the first (or possibly second) woman to join the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke, a group of working painters that included Frans Hals—whose work Leyster deeply admired and emulated. In fact, until 1893, Leyster’s paintings were attributed to either Hals or her husband, famous painter Jan Miense Molenaer because it was so unusual for a female painter to be so prolific. Leyster is known for her genre portraits: usually cheery scenes of children or tipsy men. She also painted quiet domestic scenes of women at home with a point of view empathetic to the female subject—another 17th-century rarity.
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