The Jolly Drinker (1629) by Judith Leyster

The Jolly Drinker - Judith Leyster - 1629

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Jolly Drinker
ArtistJudith Leyster
Dimensions89 x 85 cm
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationRijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

About The Jolly Drinker

“The Jolly Drinker” is an oil on canvas artwork completed by Judith Leyster in 1629, reflecting the Baroque art movement. Measuring 89 by 85 centimeters, this portrait—or tronie—currently resides at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is a notable example of Leyster’s contribution to Baroque portraiture.

The artwork depicts a boisterous male figure, likely a depiction of a cheerful drinker rather than a specific individual, which is characteristic of the tronie genre. He is portrayed with a broad smile and a joyous expression, his head inclined slightly to the side. The subject wears a large black hat with a pronounced red feather, enhancing the lively character of the portrait. He is dressed in a grayish cloak, and his white collar is distinctly visible, adding a touch of contrast to the dark attire.

With his right hand, he tilts a pewter tankard towards himself as if ready to take a sip or having just enjoyed one. The tankard is rendered with attention to metallic sheen and texture, contrasting against the softer textures of the clothing. In the lower left corner, there is a small bowl filled with smoking embers, beside which lie a couple of broken pipes and some scattered embers, contributing to the narrative of merriment and indulgence. The background is understated, likely to direct the viewer’s focus onto the figure and his jocular demeanor.

The painting is vividly executed with energetic brushwork that captures the dynamic movement and spirited atmosphere of the scene. The lifelike representation and the play of light upon the subject’s face showcase Leyster’s skill in capturing human expression and emotion, hallmarks of Baroque art that emphasize movement, vivid detail, and emotional engagement.

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