Old Woman Saying Grace, Known as ‘The Prayer without End’, Nicolaes Maes, c. 1656
An old woman prays devoutly before eating her meal. She does not let the begging cat tugging impatiently on the tablecloth distract her. The virtue of the old woman lies in her self-control and sense of duty to God. Just like his teacher Rembrandt, Maes focuses attention on the essence of the scene through restricted lighting.