Old Woman Meditating, Gabriël Metsu, c. 1661 - c. 1663
This old woman is seated with a book in her lap. She has just removed her pince-nez. Is she pausing for a moment or has she dozed off? The book in the woman’s hands and her wrinkled skin stand out in this small and otherwise dark painting. Metsu did this to underscore the essence of this popular subject – the contemplation of devotional texts, with a focus on the transitoriness of life.