(Poland circa 1610 – 1677)
(Italy 1581 – 1644)
39.8 x 31.8 cm platemark; 52.4 x 39.1 cm sheet (irreg.)
An old woman in décolletage observes her own reflection in a mirror held by one of her maids. Her dressing table is littered with perfume bottles and pearls. Images such as this of a lady at her toilet often carried a moralizing message about the vanity or emptiness of the things of the world and the inevitability of death. The flowers that the old woman holds are symbols of short-livedness and hence of decay. Previously this print was thought to be by Visscher after Rubens (see the old pen and ink inscription below the image). The painting by Strozzi on which it is actually based is in the Pushkin Museum, Moscow.
Old Europe: Prints & drawings from the collection 1500-1800, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 03 Jun 2006–06 Aug 2006