Saturday 13 July 2019

gouden eeuw

Similar to an ongoing restoration of a Johannes Vermeer work in line with the artist’s intent, Cynical-C directs our attention to a work by Dutch Golden Age painter Judith Jans Leyster (*1609 – †1660), an avowed talent among her peers and accepted into the Haarlem Guild but rather tragically forgotten after her death, called The Last Drop.
Somewhat rehabilitated and recognised as a pioneer among her cohort around the turn of the last century (though this painting was still misattributed until a keen observer noticed her JL* monogram on the tipped tankard), it is thought that a dealer committed the act of overpainting the skeletal figure brandishing an hourglass—which surely held significance as the dissolution that revelry ultimately brings as there was an accompanying genre piece called the Merry Trio (one dropped out apparently) that depicts an earlier phase of drinking, to make the work more marketable and less moralising when it was acquired by the Guildhall gallery in London in 1908. After extensive research and x-ray analysis, curators were able to bring back the original scene in the 1990s.