Portrait of a Woman (1635) by Judith Leyster

Portrait of a Woman - Judith Leyster - 1635

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of a Woman
ArtistJudith Leyster
Dimensions54 x 41 cm
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationFrans Hals Museum, Haarlem, Netherlands

About Portrait of a Woman

The artwork titled “Portrait of a Woman” was created by Judith Leyster in 1635, a period characterized by the Baroque style. The painting is a portrait, with dimensions of 54 by 41 centimeters, and it resides in the Frans Hals Museum located in Haarlem, Netherlands.

In this artwork, a woman is depicted against a muted, nondescript background which directs the viewer’s attention to her figure and expression. She appears to be middle-aged, with her face gently lit, suggesting an ambient source of light that softly models her features. The woman’s attire is indicative of the era’s fashion, with a large, starched collar known as a millstone ruff that frames her face and accentuates her dignified pose. It’s noteworthy that the ruff, along with the cuffs of her sleeves, is rendered with meticulous attention to the lacework, showcasing Leyster’s skill in detailing fabric textures. Her dark dress is offset by the bright white of the collar, which serves to draw the viewer’s gaze to her calm and contemplative visage.

Judith Leyster masterfully captures the serene and introspective mood of her subject, while also demonstrating her proficiency as an artist of her time through the precise representation of clothing and the play of light on the subject’s face. Her work remains an excellent example of portraiture within the Baroque movement.

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