Featured: Tulip Judith Leyster

This graceful tulip is Judith Leyster, named after one of the few female painters of the Dutch Golden Age. From a hint of golden yellow at each petals base an ivory band flares and touches the carmine pink color. A true beauty which blooms end of April, beginning of May.

How does a tulip get her name?

When a flowerbulb grower or breeder created a new variety, which is a process of at least 10 years, they are asked what name the tulip should be given. The name is very important, because brand awareness plays a part in its success. Tulips are named after: princesses, singers and other famous people or lands and cities.

Before a name can be assigned to the new tulip, the Royal General Association for Flower Bulb Culture (KAVB) checks whether the name is still “free”. After that, a real ‘christening certificate’ is made, which is signed at the ‘baptism’ by the grower and when possible, the person after whom the tulip is named. Last year on the National Tulip Day, January 15, the Dutch comedian and presenter André van Duin received a tulip which he was allowed to baptize himself.

Who was Judith Leyster?

Judith Leyster was a Dutch painter from the Golden Age (1609-1660). After probably being apprenticed to the respected landscape and portrait painter Frans de Grebber. She also worked in Frans Hals’ studio in her hometown Haarlem. Leyster lived in the 17th century, in which artistry was mainly seen as a male profession. From 1663 she was the only woman registered with the guild for painters as a master painter. Also special for her time is that as a young woman, before she was married, she started her own studio. One of Leyster’s well-known works is the watercolor of a delicately drawn tulip from 1643. This was collected together with other watercolors in the 18th century in the Tulip Book, which can be found in the Frans Hals museum in Haarlem.

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