Old with purse (1507) by Albrecht Durer

Old with purse - Albrecht Durer - 1507

Artwork Information

TitleOld with purse
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

About Old with purse

The artwork “Old Woman with a Purse,” created by Albrecht Dürer in 1507, exemplifies the Northern Renaissance art movement. This portrait is part of the collection at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria. It features a genre focused on portraiture, capturing the likeness and personality of its subject.

In this specific artwork, we see an older woman who is depicted in a rather unflattering manner, which is somewhat unusual for the era and the artist. The woman is shown with an exposed breast and a pouch of coins, which she holds at the level of her lower abdomen. Her face is characterized by deep wrinkles and a smile that reveals missing teeth. The striking realism, particular attention to physical details, and the aged character’s portrayal reflect Dürer’s skills and the technical advancements of the Northern Renaissance. The tone of the work seems satirical, possibly reflecting on themes of vanity, aging, or material wealth. The choice of the subject and the way she’s depicted suggests that Dürer might have been conveying a message or moral lesson, quite common for the art and literature of that period.

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