An Old Woman ('The Ugly Duchess')

This picture was probably intended to satirise old women who try inappropriately to recreate their youth. Massys has evidently depicted a woman who suffered from Paget’s disease, a malformation of bone. Leonardo da Vinci seems to have been inspired by Massys’s painting.

'The Ugly Duchess' (Curator's insight)
Luke Syson and Susan Foister discuss 'An Old Woman'


Key facts

Artist dates
1465/6 - 1530
Full title
An Old Woman ('The Ugly Duchess')
Date made
about 1513
Medium and support
Oil on oak
62.4 x 45.5 cm
Acquisition credit
Bequeathed by Miss Jenny Louisa Roberta Blaker, 1947
Inventory number
Location in Gallery