Object Image

The Old Lacemaker

An old woman is sitting in a simple room, bowed over her handiwork. She is absorbed in lace making. In the seventeenth century, handiwork was seen as a feminine virtue and was symbolic of domestic diligence. So this painting shows how things were supposed to be: an industrious woman in a tidy home.

The small painting exudes an intimate, tranquil atmosphere. This is partly due to Nicolaes Maes' use of subdued colours (brown, red, black and white) and the subtle lighting in the dark room.

Acquired with the support of the Friends of the Mauritshuis Foundation, Fonds 1818 and the Rembrandt Association, 1994...

Oil on panel
35.9 x 38.8cm
Images and text © Mauritshuis, 2022

Where you'll find this

Permanent collection