Although this picture has been given the title of Portrait of an Elderly Woman, the unknown artist has given the sitter few signs of age. She is unwrinkled, her small mouth is full and her eyes are clear. Her hair is dark, dressed in a plain but natural style, hanging either side of her face.
Like her hair, her dress is unpretentious. In the bourgeois fashion of the later part of the seventeenth century in the Southern Netherlands, her sleeves are slashed to show the white satin of her undergarment. The pearls around her neck glint in the light, and behind her a deep, red silk curtain makes a warm, flattering background.
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