Seated Woman

Object Details


Seated Woman


Roelandt Savery (Flemish, 1576 - 1639)




1603 to 1609


Pen and brown ink and graphite


14.9 × 17.6 cm (5 7/8 × 6 15/16 in.)

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Lost in thought, an old woman sits quietly, resting her feet on a bucket. A large cloak trimmed with fur surrounds her body, so that only her head, hunched shoulders, and large feet in their wooden shoes remain uncovered. A broad hat shelters her face, seen only in sharp profile. Roelandt Savery concentrated on broadly outlining the figure's position and the folds of fabric that obscure her body. He ignored more minute details such as the design of her hat or the form of her stool, suggesting only the general form of each.

This drawing comes from a series of studies similar in subject and style. On many of the sheets, although not this one, the artist inscribed the words naer het leven, which may suggest that each scene was drawn from life rather than from the artist's imagination. At a time when most drawings were prepared in the studio, this fact was unusual enough to be worth noting. The notations surrounding the figure suggest possible colors, perhaps for use in a painting.

Peter Paul Rubens and the Art of Drawing in Flanders (August 29 to October 22, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), August 29 to October 22, 2000
Drawing in the Age of Rubens (October 14, 2014 to January 11, 2015)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 14, 2014 to January 11, 2015