Birmingham – Barber Institute of Fine Arts (An Old Woman by Bernardo Strozzi)

This artwork was painted by Bernardo Strozzi in Genoa in the 1620s and it’s not actually of anyone in particular. Instead it’s a study of old age and so wasn’t funded by some wealthy trader or influential politician from the period. The artist was also called il Cappuccino, likely derived from the Capuchin monks, as the coffee didn’t receive its name until much more recently.

There doesn’t seem to be much provenance listed for this work, although the Barber Institute purchased it for £2,000 from the Hazlitt Gallery in 1966. I’m not very well placed to be an art critic, since I don’t know anything about art, but I thought that it was quite an eye-catching and powerful portrayal of the individual.