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Today’s post was inspired by a book review of Herma van der Weide’s new book “Fiane”, in which she described the (fictuous) life of the Dutch painter Judith Leyster (1609–1660) based on the few historical facts that are available on her [1, 2]. This artist, who was the first woman artist accepted by the Saint Lucas guild in Haarlem, married with the painter Jan Miense Molenaer in 1636; after that time there are only few works known from her hand.


This painting, not in the RKD database [3], is one of her late works and is now in a private collection. It is dated 1654 and entitled “Het Blompotje van Juffrouw Molenaer [Vase with flowers of Mrs. Molenaer]”, showing a flower still-life; it is the only one of her works I know with a shell.


But which shell? It is clearly not a local species as no animal is shown and the shell seems rather elongated, with a relatively bulky last whorl. This likely a tropical species. However, the resolution of the available image does not permit to draw any further conclusions.

[1] Weide, H. van der, 2014. Fiane: 1–150. Soul Care Foundation, Utrecht. Review by Koelewijn, J., 2014. Tijdreis naar de 17e eeuw. NRC, 16.x.2014.
[2] But see especially the literature mentioned here:      https://rkd.nl/explore/artists/49864.
[3] http://to.ly/Imkk (19.x.2014).