Portrait of a Woman

Artist: Quentin Metsys (Netherlandish, Leuven 1466–1530 Kiel)

Date: ca. 1520

Medium: Oil on wood

Dimensions: 19 x 17 in. (48.3 x 43.2 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931

Accession Number: 32.100.47


Departing from earlier devotional portraits, the sitter appears distracted from her prayer book by something on our side of the frame. This portrait reflects humanist interests and a modern approach to portraiture. Beyond indicating her piety, Metsys focused on more individual, human aspects of the sitter, such as the very natural position of her fingers between the pages.