Artist profile: Judith Leyster – Music

Every month, I profile an artist who inspires my own art,
in several segments.

(This article was accidentally posted last Thursday, so my apologies to those who see it twice.)

Judith Leyster painted so many happy people that I decided to make a separate post for the paintings that feature musical instruments. These are really cool (in a historical sense) because they show which musical instruments people played in Europe during the 1600s and what they looked like. (They look pretty much like they do today.)
The Jester (1625)
It’s very much like Serenade, but more in keeping with the jovial genre painting Leyster was known for. The jester’s hair has the appearance of being blown (even though it’s probably a shaggy cut), and for me, that gives the painting interesting motion.
Serenade (1629)
Although it’s very much like The Jester, this painting is a departure for Leyster: she experimented with light and shadow (Caravaggio-like) by placing a bright light source outside the frame and depicting the high contrast that resulted. Notice the highlighted edges of the feathers on his hat – very nice.
Two Musicians (1629)
Those Dutchmen sure like their feathers. (And putting skulls on the table?) Actually, the curve of the red feather is why I like this painting. I also like the interesting balance between warm colors and cool colors.

Oh god this collar is hideous!
Oh god this collar is hideous!

The Concert (1633)
For the longest time I wondered what the hell the woman is doing – having a fit? Looking at a spider on the ceiling? Ruing the horrible state of Dutch women’s fashion? Then I realized she is probably singing along with the music.

Other parts in the Judith Leyster artist profile series
Happy People



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