Portrait of an old woman, Hans Memling

Description of the picture:

Portrait of an old lady – Hans Memling. Around 1470. Oil on wood. 35×29   “Portrait of an old woman” the brush of the famous Flemish painter Hans Memling (circa 1440-1494) is striking in the breathtaking realism of the face of the model, which makes it possible to judge her age, put forward some particular features of morals and worldview. The painter does not set the task to flatter this lady, he truthfully passes her tightly compressed almost dull lips, pale fading skin, does not try to shade his eyes. His model herself does not bother about it. Her whole strictly concentrated look, impenetrable facial expression, motionless gaze of cool eyes give out worries of a different plan. Her thoughts are not seeking external attractiveness, but spiritual purity, focused on internal improvement.   The compositional technique in building the background for the portrait is fascinating. To the right of the highest snow-white headdress of Lady Memling makes the background dull and dark, on which this fascinating device of her costume stands out especially beautifully. To the left of the image, he writes a landscape background, revitalizing the composition, adding depth to the place of the picture and telling the viewer additional details about the environment in which the heroine exists.   Initially, this portrait was paired with “Portrait of an Old Man”, now located in the Municipal Museum of Berlin. “Portrait of an old woman”, having changed several owners, he came to the Louvre in 1908."