Three Really Quick Ages of Woman


Three Ages of Woman and Death


This is another Baldung, called Three Ages of Woman and Death.  Seven ages were possible for the plain and obedient; the beautiful and vain could expect only three (and two of those were kind of grotesque).  He may have admired the fortitude of the aging; or perhaps he favored living fast, dying young, and leaving a good-looking corpse.  Either way, he made clear that beauty does not age, and the aged are not beautiful.

4 thoughts on “Three Really Quick Ages of Woman

  1. This painting is spectacular. (After seeing it I had to research this man’s work.)
    I love everything about it.

    I especially love the beauty of the young girl looking in the mirror, as young girls do all the time. When I was young, I could not walk by a mirror without stopping to admire it. Now I run by mirrors, no matter how beautiful they are.

    One of the only benefits of middle age is that we become far sighted, so we can’t see how our faces REALLY look in the mirror. We are only able to see our faces as a (somewhat) pleasing blur. Unless of course we have a 10x magnifying mirror!

  2. Yes, the mirror is no longer my friend. And the day I got the 10 x magnifying mirror was the day I consigned my life to hell.

    We also become nearsighted so that we can’t see our partners too well, nor they us, lest we both run screaming for the hills.

  3. When a young gentleman first visits a young lady’s boudoir, he is confounded by many of the cosmetic devices he finds. In fact, it is not clear that some are designed to enhance appearance rather than to exact confessions to horrific crimes. In the 10x mirror he believes he has found the most pitiless of punishments, and flees it; or at least opens a newspaper to interpose between it and himself. What in the nature of the female induces her to such self-abuse, he wonders? Then he decides it wiser to keep the question to himself.

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