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Monogrammist I. S.
An Old Woman Singing An Old Woman Singing
around 1638 around 1638

In this work, an old woman, sitting in a chair with a book on her lap, turns toward the viewer. Her lips are parted, and she appears to be singing. Her modest, sober demeanour strongly suggests that her activity is an expression of religious piety, and that she is obeying the traditional exhortation to old people to prepare themselves for impending death through spiritual reflection and worship. The absence of a rosary or crucifix indicates that the woman—and probably also the artist—was an adherent of a Protestant denomination. This panel is only one of many such depictions of elderly women that can be attributed to Master I.S. Although his early pictures adhere to the tradition of peasant genre painting, he developed an increasing focus on the figure, and on the earnest, contemplative face. It seems likely that in the late 1630s the artist began to study the earlier works of Rembrandt and Lievens.

 
Monogrammist I. S.
Active in Delft and Eastern Europe, 1633-1659 Active in Delft and Eastern Europe, 1633-1659
An Old Woman Singing An Old Woman Singing
around 1638 around 1638
Oil on panel Oil on panel
overall: 47 cm x 35.5 cm
Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 2014 Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 2014
57-001.21

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