Vecchia

Giorgione - 1506
oil on canvas - 68x59 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

The customer and the addressee are unknown. This portrait could represent Giorgione's mother.

On a dark background, behind a parapet, there is an ancient woman turned of three quarters, turned left. The woman is wearing a white flaccid cap letting outside a grey tuft, a pinky dress and also a white rag with fringe leaned on the shoulder.

The double rotation is interesting because it gives a particular intensity to the portrait and also the gesture of the right hand leaned on the chest like during "mea culpa".

She has in the hand a little block with written "col tempo", it is a consideration of the old age or it could be a reflection of the growth of wisdom.

The tonalism, called also tonal painting, is an artistic technique that you can get with gradual coat hue to hue, to get a soft plastic effect. This technique is widely employed in this portrait.