Rembrandt wrote the elderly with hardly the greatest pleasure. The past life seemed to him something that leaves an indelible mark on a person, according to which, with a certain talent, one can read it as if it were an open book. He wrote both young people and children, but the old people were always the best sitters for him.
“Portrait of an old woman” is his next appeal to his favorite topic. The woman depicted on him is impossibly old. She has a wrinkled face, dark eyes, clothes more to the widow than to a married woman. A black shawl, a brown blouse, a black hat — the old woman crossed her arms on her knees, she sits deeply drowning in an armchair, from which there are only smooth wooden armrests in the picture.
Her skin is similar in color to wood. The hands are knotted, warped by arthritis and hard work, veins protrude on them. She looks a little to the side, and her gaze is very characteristic of old people - there is neither interest nor joy in him, only fatigue and readiness to go beyond the death line when the time comes, not feeling fear and not begging for a respite.
The traces that life has left on her face speak of a long and difficult century. She suffered a lot, rejoiced a lot. She went through many years, raised children, nursed her grandchildren, and all this can be seen in her, in her face, in her eyes.
Rembrandt was not afraid to portray old age as it is. At all times youth was glorified, her proud beauty, her strength and striving forward. Rembrandt also saw the charm of old age. She did not seem to him either disgusting or terrible.
On the contrary, for him she was no reason not to love a man. Each of us goes to old age, each comes to her sooner or later. The back will bend, the skin will dry out, every year it will leave marks on the face.
But the old woman from the portrait, and his other old men, as it were, speak from the portraits - this is not scary. This will happen to everyone, and even in old age you can maintain calm dignity.
Painting Morning Yablonskaya