previous sub-section
next chapter


1. Leyster is the last name taken by her father, Jan Willemsz. It was also the name he gave to his house and later to his brewery, and he probably took the name from the site. Leyster (leidstar or leidster) means “Leading Star,” and she herself punned on that name in her monogram: a conjoined J, L, and star. [BACK]

2. See chapters 9 and 10 in this book. [BACK]

3. I wrote my master's thesis on Leyster (a general survey of her work that laid a foundation for my later work) under the direction of Harris at Hunter College, City University of New York. Harris also co-curated, with Linda Nochlin, the groundbreaking “Women Artists 1550–1950” (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1976). [BACK]

4. Leyster appears in general survey texts: Laurie Schneider Adams, Art across Time, vol. 1 (Boston: McGraw-Hill College, 1999), 664, illus. 18.48 (The Last Drop, Philadelphia); Frederick Hartt, Art: A History of Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, 4th ed. (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1993), 824–25,

illus. 28-15 (The Proposition, The Hague); H.W. Janson and Anthony Janson, History of Art, 5th rev. ed. (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1997), 582, illus. 775 (Young Flute Player, Stockholm); Marilyn Stokstad, Art History (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1995), 788–89, illus. 19-47 (Self-Portrait, Washington, D.C.); and David G. Wilkins, Bernard Schultz, and Katheryn M. Linduff, Art Past, Art Present, 3d ed. (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1997), 355, illus. 7-8 (Self-Portrait, Washington, D.C.), and 361, illus. 7-13 (The Last Drop, Philadelphia; before cleaning). Slides of Leyster's work (of both The Proposition and the Self-Portrait) have appeared in the essay sections of Advanced Placement examinations in art history in 1994 and 1998, respectively. She appears in fiction: Amanda Cross, “The Proposition,” in The Collected Stories (New York: Ballantine Books, 1997); and Michael Kernan, Lost Diaries of Frans Hals (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994). [BACK]

5. F.F. Hofrichter, “The Eclipse of a Leading Star,” in Judith Leyster: A Dutch Master and Her World, exhib. cat. (Worcester, England: Worcester Art Museum, 1993), 115–22. [BACK]

6. I would like to once again thank the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation for their Award in Women's Studies in 1978, which helped give credibility to my dissertation work; the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), which provided a travel grant in 1979; and the Millard Meiss Fund of the College Art Association, for their contribution in publishing the monograph. [BACK]

7. The painting was unnamed at the Royal Picture Gallery, Mauritshuis, The Hague, so in my work I named it (as I did several of her paintings), and the title The Proposition continues to be generally used. The notable exception to its use was by Pieter Biesboer (curator of the Frans Halsmuseum), who disagreed with the sexual implication of the title, so in the exhibition and in its catalogue Judith Leyster: A Dutch Master and Her World, the painting is referred to as Man Offering Money to a Young Woman (168–73, cat. no. 8). [BACK]

8. Eleanor Tufts also included Leyster in her own book on women artists, Our Hidden Heritage: Five Centuries of Women Artists (New York: Paddington Press, 1974), which held a detail of Leyster's Self-Portrait on the cover. I dedicated my chapter “The Eclipse of a Leading Star,” which discusses Leyster's reputation, to the memory of Eleanor Tufts. [BACK]

9. “Judith Leyster's Proposition: Between Virtue and Vice,” Feminist Art Journal 4 (1975): 22–26; reprinted in Feminism and Art History, ed. Norma Broude and Mary Garrard (New York: Harper & Row, 1982), 173–81 (which has given Leyster and the painting the most exposure); Worlds of Art, ed. Robert Bersson (Mountain View, Calif.: Mayfield, 1991), 300–303; and Prelude and Passages: Program in Writing and Thinking, ed. Faculty Advisory Committee (Tacoma, Wash.: University of Puget Sound), freshman orientation text, annually from 1989 to the present. My work seems to have had a distinct and varied impact: The Proposition is featured as the frontispiece in Christopher Brown's Images of a Golden Past: Dutch Genre Painting of the 17th Century (New York: Abbeville Press, 1984), was discussed and illustrated in Madlyn Millner Kahr's Dutch Painting in the Seventeenth Century (New York:

Harper & Row, 1978), 65–66 (with its older name, The Rejected Offer), and was the subject of Amanda Cross's short story of the same name (see note 4). [BACK]

10. I would like to thank my fellow graduate students at Rutgers University who enthusiastically participated: Steve Arbury, Natalie Borisovets, Louise Caldi, Nancy Heller, Leslie Kessler, Betty Lipsmeyer, Barbara Listokin, Jane Rehl, John Beldon Scott, and Julie Williams. [BACK]

11. For The Proposition, see note 9. For the Self-Portrait, see F.F. Hofrichter, “Judith Leyster's Self-Portrait: Ut Pictura Poesis,” in Essays in Northern European Art Presented to Egbert Haverkamp Begemann on His Sixtieth Birthday (Doornspijk, the Netherlands: Davaco, 1983), 106–9. Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr., in Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1995), 156–58, has argued for an earlier date of ca. 1630. I wish to thank him for his patience with my many trips to the National Gallery of Art to “visit” her—even when the portrait was in storage and later being cleaned. For A Game of Tric-Trac, see F.F. Hofrichter, “Games People Play: Judith Leyster's A Game of Tric-Trac,Worcester Art Museum Journal 7 (1983–84): 19–27. The acquisition of this painting by the Worcester Art Museum became the raison d'être for its sponsorship of the Judith Leyster exhibition years later (1993). [BACK]

12. F.F. Hofrichter, Judith Leyster: A Woman Painter in Holland's Golden Age (Doornspijk, the Netherlands: Davaco, 1989), 14. [BACK]

13. I am grateful to Mary Garrard (see her entry in this book) for the several conversations we have had over the years about this issue. Ironically, once Leyster became better known, I felt more keenly that I wanted to hold on to her in a new way and bought a painting (some twenty years after I first saw it) related to her work. It is a workshop piece of The Last Drop: two figures smoking and drinking with a full skeleton—a death—between them. The painting served as a document in discovering the skeleton in the original work by Leyster (now in Philadelphia), where the skeleton had been painted over. It made sense in many ways to have this work—an essential piece of evidence of her complex thinking—as other scholars went on to discover her. [BACK]

14. I also worked in the archives of North Holland in Haarlem and the archives in The Hague and in Utrecht. I owe special thanks to Frans Tames of the Haarlem Municipal Archives for his help over the years. [BACK]

15. Hofrichter, Golden Age, cat. no. 46. [BACK]

16. Ellen Broersen, “‘Judita Leystar’: A Painter of ‘Good, Keen Sense,’” in Judith Leyster: A Dutch Master and Her World, 15. [BACK]

previous sub-section
next chapter