Monday, August 31, 2015

1600s Woman Artist - Judith Leyster (Dutch artist, 1609-1660)


Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) Two Children with a Cat 1629

Judith Leyster, (1609-1660) was one of the few female artists of the era to have emerged from obscurity. Among her verified works are portraits, genre paintings, & still lifes. Leyster was the daughter of a brewer. By the time she was 18, Leyster was already mentioned favorably in a book about culture in Haarlem.  “Within the next few years she established her own workshop and took on apprentices who were all, as far as documents indicate, young men.” James E. Welu; Pieter Biesboer Woman’s Art Journal, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Autumn, 1995 – Winter, 1996) 

By age 24 she had become a member of the Haarlem painters’ guild. Her subject matter embraced a greater range than was typical of Dutch painters of the era, & she was one of the first to exploit the domestic genre scene. Such genre paintings & portraits were popular with Holland's newly prosperous middle-class, the principal buyers of local art during Lyster‘s lifetime. She may have worked in Frans Hals’s shop.  

In 1636, she married genre painter Jan Miense Molenaer & moved with him to Amsterdam. The couple moved to Amsterdam & had at least 5 children. By 1649, the family was back in Haarlem, where Leyster spent the remainder of her life.


Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) A Man with a Beard & a Ruff



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) A Game of Tric-Trac



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) A Youth with a Jug



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) A Game of Cards



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) The Proposition 1631 



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) Basket of Fruit 1640



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) Boy Playing the Flute 1660



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) Flowers in a Vase 1654



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) Girl with a Lute 1631



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) Girl with a Straw Hat



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) Jolly Topper 1629



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) Jolly Topper 



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) Knabe Mit Trauben



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) Merry Company 1630



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) A Young Man


Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) Portrait of a Woman



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) The Last Drop



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) The Concert 1633



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) The Jester 1625



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) The Serenade 1629



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) Three Boys Merry Making 1629



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) Tulip



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) Two Musicians 1629



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) Young Boy in Profile



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) 



Judith Leyster (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660) Boy and a Girl with a Cat and an Eel


Sunday, August 30, 2015

1600s Woman Artist - Self-Portraits - Elisabetta Sirani 1638-1665


Italian artist Elisabetta Sirani (1638–1665) died when she was 27. By that age, she had already created 200 paintings, drawings, & etchings. Sirani spent her short life in Bologna, a city famous for its progressive attitude toward women's rights & female artists. She was the daughter of artist Giovanni Andrea Sirani (1610-70), who had been Guido Reni's principal assistant. Encouraged by Carlo Malvasia, her mentor & eventual biographer, she was painting professionally by the age of 17.

Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665) Allegoria della pittura 1638-1665

Trained by her father, Sirani ran her family's art workshop by the age of 19, supporting her parents, 3 siblings, & herself. Her father could paint no longer because of gout. Sirani's portraits, mythological subjects, & biblical images gained widespread fame. Her works were acquired by wealthy, noble, & even royal patrons, including the Grand Duke Cosimo III de Medici.

Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665) Self-Portrait, 1658

She painted so fast, that it was commonly believed that she had help painting. In order to refute the charges, dignitaries from all over Europe were invited to watch her paint a portrait in one sitting.

Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665) Self-Portrait 1660

One story about the Grand Duke Cosimo III de Medici, who visited her studio in 1664, attests to Sirani's rapid working methods. After he watched her work on a portrait of his uncle Prince Leopold, Cosimo ordered a Madonna for himself, which Sirani allegedly executed so quickly so that it could dry enough to be taken home with him! Sirani died-suddenly, after experiencing severe stomach pains probably caused by perforated ulcers. Sirani's funeral was an elaborate affair involving formal orations, special poetry & music, and an enormous catafalque decorated with a life-size sculpture of the deceased. Her teaching legacy included her two sisters, Barbara & Anna Maria, plus more than a dozen other young women who became professional painters in Bologna.

1600s Woman Artist - Mary Beale 1632-1697



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Self Portrait Holding a Painting of Her Sons c 1685


Mary Beale (1632-1697) was the first English woman to become a professional portraitist of the Baroque era. She was the daughter of John Cradock, a puritan rector from Suffolk, who was an amateur painter & member of the Painter Stainer’s company. Through her father she became acquainted with local artists, such as Matthew Snelling, Robert Walker, & Peter Lely. As an independent professional artist she had a prolific career.


Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Self Portrait

Her father also introduced her to her future husband, who was also an amateur painter & member of the Painter-Stainers' Company, a cloth merchant from London named Charles Beale. In 1652, at 18, she married Charles Beale & went to live with him in Covent Garden, London. The Beales had 2 sons who survived past childhood, Bartholomew & Charles. Her husband, Charles became deputy clerk of the patents office in about 1660, by which time Mary had begun to study portraiture. In 1664, the Beales moved away from London, to a farmhouse in Allbrook in Hampshire. Part of their reason for moving could have been to escpae the onset of the Great Plague in London which was to kill a fifth of the population of the town.


Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Self Portrait c 1675

Her husband left a career in the Patents Office to prepare her canvases, mix her paints, & keep the family business records. In 1670, the family, returned to London, where she set up a studio in Pall Mall. One diary note kept by her husband establishes that in 1 year alone she completed 83 commissioned works. One of Mary & Charles Beale's sons, also known as Charles Beale went on to a career as a painter. Mary Beale also taught art, & one of her students, Sarah Cuties eventually became a well-known painter. Beale worked in several media including oils, pastels & water colors. Her studies of children, especially her own, were particularly sensitive.



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Portrait of the artist's husband Charles Beale in a Black Hat



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) The Artist's Husband Charles


Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Self Portrait of the Artist as a Shepherdess with her Son Charles (1660-1714) in Attendance



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697)


Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) The Artist with her Husband Charles & Son Bartholomew


Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Portrait of the Artist's Son Bartholomew Beale c 1665



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Artist's Son Bartholomew Beale




Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Bartholomew Beale Profile



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Bartholomew Beale, Facing Left



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Charles Beale Jr



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Portrait of a Young Woman



Attributed to Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Portrait of Nell Gwyl



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Louise de Kérouaille Duchess of Portsmouth, 1670s A French aristocrat who became a spy for Louis XIV & mistress to Charles II.



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) King Charles II (1630 - 1685) c 1675c



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Actress Moll Davis



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Lady Elizabeth Cavendish (c 1627–1663), Countess of Bridgewater or Lady Elizabeth Cranfield, (1648–1670) Viscountess Brackley c 1670



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) 1675 Lady Mary Hay, née Maitland (1645–1702), Marchioness of Tweedale



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Lady Leake (1657-1709)



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Unknown Young Boy



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Portrait of a Baby



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Richard Gulston



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Portrait of a Young Girl c 1681



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Sir Basil Dixwell



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Portrait of a Young Girl



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Unknown Young Boy



Mary Beale (English portrait painter, 1632-1697) Young Bacchus