Head of an Old Woman (c. 1655-61) by Michael Sweerts

Head of an Old Woman - Michael Sweerts - c. 1655-61

Artwork Information

TitleHead of an Old Woman
ArtistMichael Sweerts
Datec. 1655-61
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions49.2 x 38.1 cm
Current LocationThe J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
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About Head of an Old Woman

One of the striking pieces of artwork created by Michael Sweerts is Head of a Woman, painted in Italy during the mid-1600s. It depicts an old woman, who was likely someone Sweerts encountered in his daily life. The painting showcases the artistic styles prevalent at that time and can be considered as a unique representation.

Sweerts’ interest in portraying commoners is evident through this painting, which makes it resemble Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring to some extent. Without any ornamental embellishments or grandiosity, Sweerts captures the essence and beauty of a simple maidservant effortlessly. Another important aspect about this painting is that it part of series called “Seven Acts of Charity,” wherein he portrays everyday people helping each other.

In 1994, the Head of a Woman was funded by Art Fund for Matthiesen Fine Art and was valued for its importance as an example from one significant period in art history to another. The dimensions are 43 x 45 cm, and they showcase both the detail and intricacy inherent to Italian baroque painters at that time.The Head Of An Old Woman by Michael Sweerts remains an evocative masterpiece that encapsulates much about societal conceptions on beauty during this era while showcasing timeless artistry techniques indicative of its place within artistic history more generally.

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