Portrait of an old woman - Hans Memling. 35x29
"Portrait of an old woman" the brush of the famous Flemish painter Hans Memling (circa 1440-1494) is striking in the amazingly realistic image of the face of the model, which makes it possible to judge her age, to suggest certain characteristics of character and worldview. The artist does not set the task to flatter this woman, he truly conveys her tightly pressed almost colorless lips, pale aging skin, does not try to shade her eyes. His model herself does not care about this. Her entire strictly focused appearance, impenetrable facial expression, fixed look of cold eyes give worries of a different plan. Her thoughts are not seeking external attractiveness, but spiritual purity, aimed at internal improvement.
An interesting compositional technique in building the background for the portrait. To the right of the woman’s high white headdress, Memling makes the background dull and dark, on which this interesting accessory of her costume stands out especially spectacularly. To the left of the image, he writes a landscape background, revitalizing the composition, adding depth to the space of the picture and telling the viewer additional details about the environment in which the heroine exists.
Initially, this portrait was paired with the "Portrait of an Old Man", now located in the State Museum of Berlin. "Portrait of an old woman"having changed several owners, he came to the Louvre in 1908.