Adding Women to the Picture

The NWO-funded VIDI-project The Female Impact aims to map, measure and analyse the impact of women on the Dutch art market in the seventeenth century by studying the household as an economic site. Drawing on various sources, this project studies how women manifested themselves as important patrons and professionals. Collaboration with the Rijksmuseum will ensure that the research results reach millions of museum visitors, challenging the view of the art market as a man’s world and the narrative that sees the ‘Golden’ age as male-dominated.


Photos by Bob Bronshoff

Dr. Judith Noorman
Judith is the project’s Principal Investigator. She is Assistant Professor in Early Modern Art History at the University of Amsterdam and Director of the Amsterdam Centre for Studies in Early Modernity. With Robbert Jan van der Maal, she wrote a book about a woman who was (amongst others) the best-documented art consumer of the Dutch Golden age, male or female (Amsterdam University Press, 2022).

Read more on Judith’s research or get in contact.

Prof. dr. Frans Grijzenhout
Frans is Full Professor at the University of Amsterdam and has written multiple books and articles on artists such as Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen and Frans Hals. He acts as supervisor to the project’s PhD candidates. With Judith Noorman, he has written a paper: Lady of the House. The Household, Art and Memoria in the Dutch Republic (2018) and organized a HNA-sponsored session at CAA: The Female Impact. Women and the Art Market in the Early Modern Era (2019).

Dr. Piet Bakker
Piet is postdoctoral researcher and has worked as a (archival)researcher for the Leiden Collection New York, the Delft University of Technology and the Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium. He has written multiple publications on topics related to the art market, painter communities, painter networks and organisations like the Guild of St Luke.

Read more on Piet’s research or get in contact.

Marleen Puyenbroek
Marleen is a PhD-candidate, exploring the impact of working women on the art market of the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic. For her master’s thesis, she researched the ‘gezworen schatsters’ (sworn appraisers) and published on this subject in Amstelodamum (2021) and Kunst, kennis en kapitaal (ed. F. Grijzenhout, 2022). 

Read more on Marleen’s research or get in contact.

Anna Lawrence
Anna is an external PhD-candidate. She uses surviving works in museum collections to study the fluctuations in value, reputation and collecting practices of art made by women in the Netherlands, 1600-1900. In this, she is informed by her work experience in museums and auction houses, and her master’s from UCL that focused on critical approaches to art history.

Read more on Anna’s research or get in contact.

Femke Valkhoff
Femke is a research master’s student. During her internship at the Rijksmuseum, she was part of the project group ‘Women of the Rijksmuseum’. For her thesis, she is researching pendant portraits depicting Haarlem brewers, uncovering the relationships within their marriage, life and company. In the Rijksmuseum Bulletin, she published an article on the female brewer Maritge Claesdr Vooght (2023).

Eva Konings
Eva is a research master’s student. During her internship at the Van Loon Museum in Amsterdam, she did research for both this project and the museum on some of the key female figures from the sixteenth and seventeenth century within the Van Loon collection.

Lot Baumann
Lot is a student of the MA Arts of the Netherlands. During her internship at the Rijksmuseum, she was the second intern to partake in Jenny Reynaerts’s project ‘Women of the Rijksmuseum’. For her thesis, she is studying painted representations of women in artists’ studios during the seventeenth-century Republic. As a BA student, she was one of the authors of the Golden Women-book, and wrote about Rachel Ruysch. Read her essay here.

Anne Linde Ruiter
Anne-Linde is a student of the MA Arts of the Netherlands at the University of Amsterdam. She currently works as an intern at the Rijksmuseum project ‘Women of the Rijksmuseum’, where she aids in the inclusion and integration of women both imagined and real in the museum collection, including but not limited to artists, collectors and benefactors. Anne-Linde previously studied Art, Market and Connoisseurship at the Vrije Universiteit.

Iris Jocker
Iris is a research masters student. During her internship at Museum Prinsenhof Delft she will do research on women in the museum’s collection. In doing so, she will be focusing on women from seventeenth-century Delft, such as Maria Pijnaecker, Maria Duyst van Voorhout and Clara van Sparwoude. As a BA student, Iris was one of the authors of the Golden Women-book. Her article was about Anna van Ewsum, the cover girl of the book.



Vrouwen van het Rijksmuseum

To ensure that our research results reach millions of museum visitors, we are proud to collaborate with the Rijksmuseum. Dr. Jenny Reynaerts, Senior Curator of Nineteenth- and Eighteenth-Century Paintings, is leading a five-year program to promote the role of women in the collection. Home to 1.1 million objects, the Rijksmuseum recounts the history of the Netherlands and Dutch art, but women remain largely invisible within the collection. In line with its mission to become more inclusive, Taco Dibbets, the director, has committed to changing the museum’s perspective (perspectiefwisseling) by including women’s perspectives. Under the motto ‘permanent and obvious’, Reynaerts and her team are researching and adjusting the collection and permanent exhibition to include more women and display them in a manner that promotes historical accuracy and equality.

The Female Impact and the Rijksmuseum act as sparring partners with a common vision on making women more visible. More specifically, interns, who are supervised jointly by Jenny Reynaerts and Judith Noorman, are studying the collection. Furthermore, The Female Impact will contribute to a book project with an essay on women and the seventeenth-century art market, written by the PI and illustrated with objects from the Rijksmuseum’s collection.


The Female Impact collaborates with CREATE (Creative Amsterdam: An E-Humanities Perspective), a platform for Digital Humanities led by Prof. Julia Noordegraaf. Bringing together various partners to advance the creation and use of Linked Open Data, CREATE provides an open-ended network and knowledge hub. CREATE designs and manages a database in which we collect data on women key to our research.