— Germaine Greer
Context: By 1627 Judith Leyster was famous enough to be mentioned in Ampzing's description of the city of Haarlem; by 1661 she had been so far forgotten that De Bie does not mention her in his Golden Cabinet. Her eclipse by Frans Hals may have begun in her own lifetime, as a consequence of her marriage to Molenaer perhaps, for Sir Luke Schaub acquired the painting now known as The Jolly Companions as a Hals in Haarlem in the seventeenth century.
If Judith Leyster had not been in the habit of signing her work with the monogram JL attached to a star, a pun on the name her father had taken from his brewery, Leyster or Lodestar, her works might never have been reattributed to her: few paintings can boast of a provenance as clear as that of The Jolly Companions. As a result of the discovery that The Jolly Companions bore Leyster's monogram, the English firm which had sold the painting to Baron Schlichting in Paris as a Hals attempted to rescind their own purchase and get their money back from the dealer, Wertheimer, who had sold it to them for £4500 not only as a Hals but "one of the finest he ever painted." Sir John Millars agreed with Wertheimer about the authenticity and value of the painting. The special jury and the Lord Chief Justice never did get to hear the case, which was settled in court on 31st May 1893, with the plaintiffs agreeing to keep the painting for £3500 plus £500 costs. The gentlemen of the press made merry at the experts' expense, for all they had succeeded in doing was in destroying the value of the painting. Better, they opined, to have asked no questions. At no time did anyone throw his cap in the air and rejoice that another painter, capable of equalling Hals at his best, had been discovered.
Chapter VII: The Disappearing Oeuvre (p. 136)