The 502-year-old Ugly Duchess

The Ugly Duchess (also known as "A Grotesque Old Woman"),
satirical portrait by the Flemish artist Quentin Matsys, around 1513

oil painting on oak panel, 62.4 x 45.5 cm

"The painting shows a grotesque old woman with wrinkled skin and withered breasts. She wears the aristocratic horned headdress of her youth, out of fashion by the time of the painting, and holds in her right hand a red flower, then a symbol of engagement, indicating that she is trying to attract a suitor. However, it has been described as a bud that will 'likely never blossom’. (...) A possible literary influence is Erasmus's essay 'In Praise of Folly’ (1511), which satirizes women who "still play the coquette", "cannot tear themselves away from their mirrors" and "do not hesitate to exhibit their repulsive withered breasts”."