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Head of an Old Woman - Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis
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Sculpture

Head of an Old Woman

Retrato da escritora Maria Oswald

António Fernandes de Sá (1872-1959)

1901

Carrara marble

Inventory sheet

The marble is clearly to be seen in this irregularly contoured bust, from which emerges the figure of an old woman, with droopy eyelids and the protruding bones of a thin face. The naked torso similarly exposes her collarbones and rather scrawny neck.

In this piece, the artist brings us face to face with the stark reality of lost beauty. It is certainly based on a theme that goes back to 1887, referring specifically to one of the pillars of Auguste Rodin’s Gates of Hell, the impressive marble Celle qui fut la Belle Heaulmière, to whom this piece is indebted.