Judith Leyster at the Rijksmuseum

Judith Leyster

Dutch Golden Age painter (1609-1660)

ChasingART has been involved in virtual travel these past months as museums and art galleries have opened their doors and outreach to global visitors.

Judith Leyster Self Portrait Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Today, I traveled to the Rijksmuseum, the national museum of the Netherlands, located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South. Dedicated to Dutch arts and history, the Rijksmuseum was founded in The Hague on November 19, 1798, but was moved to Amsterdam in 1808.

The Women of the Rijksmuseum

Exciting things are happening at the Rijksmuseum! The Women of the Rijksmuseum project is underway, focused on exploring the role played by women artists in Dutch history. This ambitious project will run from 2021 to 2024, bringing together a working group from across the museum to gain a deeper understanding of their collection.

Cello Player by Judith Leyster

“How is the part played by women in Dutch history represented in the Rijksmuseum collection?  This is the overarching question explored by the research programme and its related activities.”


Judith Jans Leyster, 1609 to 1660, was a Dutch Golden Age painter, whose work included genre works, portraits and still lifes. Highly respected during her lifetime, she fell into obscurity after her death. Her entire creative output was attributed to Frans Hals or to her husband, Jan Miense Molenaer. But time has a way to bringing truth to the surface and the regrettable error is attribution has been rectified. We now recognize Judith Leyster for her brilliant artistic abilities.

#FridayPainting: Edward Burne-Jones “Portrait of Margaret Burne-Jones” Daughter of the Artist

The more materialistic science becomes, the more angels shall I paint. Their wings are my protest in favor of the immortality of the soul.” Edward Burne-Jones

Margaret, daughter of Edward Coley Burne-Jones

What is a portrait?

Whether a painting, photograph, sculpture, poster or mural, the artist’s intention is to create an image, in which the face is predominant, that presents the likeness, personality, mood, and appearance of a person. The definition takes on a deeper, more personal perspective, as a viewer studies the portrait, looking into the eyes of a person that looks out from the confines of a two-dimensional image.

Edward Burne-Jones captured the face of his daughter, Margaret. There is a poignancy in the portrait, that of a young woman with the promise of a lifetime in her steady gaze. She lived from 1866 -1953

A portrait holds the stories of two people, that of the artist and the sitter, whose face will evolve to reflect the combined narratives.

#FridayPainting: Thomas Faed “Sir Walter Scott and his friends at Abbotsford”

When I view the painting, “Sir Walter Scott and His Friends at Abbotsford” by Thomas Faed, I try to imagine the discussion. It seems that Sir Walter Scott is reading from one of his novels to a group of friends eager to hear what comes next. Some lean forward, while others sit back in contemplation.

Sir Walter Scott and His Friends at Abbotsford by Thomas Faed Scottish National Galleries

We come to know writers through their stories, and find our connection to them via words, plots, characters and themes. And yet, we do not have a full understanding of their life, which is demonstrated by Thomas Faed’s paintings. Who was Sir Walter Scott? Who were his friends? How did he spend his days when he was not writing?

This painting prompted an exploration into the life of Sir Walter Scott. My search was brilliantly rewarded when I found Sir Walter Scott’s Journal on Gutenberg.org. Here is the beginning of Sir Walter Scott’s Journal.

In his words:

“ I have all my life regretted that I did not keep a regular Journal. I have myself lost recollection of much that was interesting, and I have deprived my family and the public of some curious information, by not carrying this resolution into effect. I have bethought me, on seeing lately some volumes of Byron’s notes, that he probably had hit upon the right way of keeping such a memorandum-book, by throwing aside all pretence to regularity and order, and marking down events just as they occurred to recollection. I will try this plan; and behold I have a handsome locked volume, such as might serve for a lady’s album.” Sir Walter Scott’s Journal (Gutenberg.org)

Who were these friends in Thomas Faed’s painting? According to the Edinburgh University Library: Sir Walter Scott’s friends are portrayed from left to right are listed as follows:

Seated: Thomas Thomson, James Ballantyne, Archibald Constable, Thomas Campbell, Tom Moore, Sir Adam Fergusson, Francis Jeffrey, William Wordsworth, John Gibson Lockhart, George Crabbe, Henry Mackenzie, Scott, and (on footstool) James Hogg.

Standing: Sir Humphrey Davy, Sir David Wilkie, Sir William Allan, Prof. John Wilson.

#FridayPainting: Umberto Boccioni “Three Women”

“We must now learn to draw inspiration from the tangible miracles that surround us.” Umberto Boccioni

Umberto Boccioni “Three Women” 1909 – 1910 Public Domain

As I look deep within this pastel painting, I feel the energy of time movement through generations. Umberto Boccioni offers viewers three women in different stages of life. I am reminded to embrace the transition from youth to old age.

When I looked into Umberto Boccioni’s background, I was surprised to find that he used the same word “atmosphere” to define how he approached painting: “To paint a human figure you must not paint it; you must render the whole of its surrounding atmosphere.”

“Umberto Boccioni (1882–1916) was the leading artist of Italian Futurism. During his short life, he produced some of the movement’s iconic paintings and sculptures, capturing the color and dynamism of modern life in a style he theorized and defended in manifestos, books, and articles.Rosalind McKever
Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“A time will come when the eye of man will perceive colors as feelings within itself.” Umberto Boccioni

#FridayPainting: Claude Monet “The Artist’s Garden at Giverny”

Every day I discover
more and more
beautiful things.
It’s enough to drive one mad.
I have such a desire
to do everything,
my head is bursting with it.”

Claude Monet

Claude Monet ‘The Artist’s Garden at Giverny”

“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.”
Claude Monet

“I would like to paint the way a bird sings.”
Claude Monet

“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece”
Claude Monet

#FridayPainting: Alfred Henry Maurer “An Arrangement”

Alfred Henry Maurer “An Arrangement” 1901 (Public Domain)

An American modernist painter, Alfred exhibited his work in avant-garde circles internationally and in New York City during the early twentieth century. He had an auspicious start and a promising future, with his painting “An Arrangement” being compared to the work of James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Then at 36, he changed the trajectory of his art, away from realism to modernism, thanks to the influence of the art collected by his friends, Gertrude and Leo Stein.

During his time, Alfred was well-respected within avant-garde circles, but was unable to achieve the critical success to make a living from his artistic endeavours. It took several decades for his work to be recognized and fully understood.