Sandpaper. Leyster

Sandpaper. Leyster

Charcoal, eraser, sandpaper, erasings on paper
Judith Leyster (1609-1660) has a slim catalogue of attributed works, though those that do survive show considerable talent. She was active for a brief period of her adult life before having children. Her style has been compared to that of her more famous contemporary, Franz Hals, and they ran rival workshops in Amsterdam. She was largely forgotten after her death, but when the Louvre bought a Hals in 1893, it was discovered after cleaning to be the work of Leyster. As a famous, male painter commands a much higher price, dealers often changed signatures and monograms of lesser known artists. A number of Hals have since been discovered to be by Leyster; after the discovery, a critic noted in 1964 “the vigorous brushstrokes of the master were beyond [her] capability” – a judgement only made in hindsight!