Judith Leyster Research Paper

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Judith Leyster: Master Amongst Men Judith Leyster, the first woman to be officially recognized as a master painter during the Dutch Golden Age, utilized her female perspective in order to revolutionize perception and expectations of women of the era. Immense talent and mastery afforded Leyster a workshop, pupils, and a lasting legacy in portraiture and genre painting. Leyster challenged traditional domestic roles and showcased increasing independence of women through two works entitled Self-Portrait and The Proposition. The Dutch Golden Age in the early 17th century was home to a burgeoning class of artists who responded to social, political and religious changes through adaptation and reinvention of their individual artistic styling. The Counter Reformation and inequality of economic power in…show more content…
Her mother was a weaver and gave birth to nine children in total, of which only six survived to adulthood. In order to support a large family, her father owned a brewery by the name of Leyster in Bakenessergracht. At the time of birth, Leyster was not her surname, as a common practice was to adopt a surname from one’s house or business. Various adaptations of the surname Leyster existed, including Lejistar and Leysterre, translating as “leading star” or “pole star”, and the monogram Judith Leyster signed her pictures with was comprised of an “intertwined “J” and “L” with a star shooting out to the right: literally, ‘a leading star.’” The significance of the adoption of Leyster as a surname echoes her emerging talents and future leadership, while the brewery, was fundamental in that “the brewery provided Leyster with accessible subjects for her later paintings.” Interest in the commonality of everyday people in her formative years had a direct impact on the ways in which she chose to paint genre scenes, capitalizing upon the beauty of the ordinary

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