by Ivan Albright
), currently in the Art Institute of Chicago
. Albright turns a 21-year old model into a portrait
of an old woman, seated with her legs crossed on a wicker
stool in front of her dresser
, staring mournfully down into a hand mirror
held in her right hand, while her left pads her breast with a cosmetic
sponge. The background
is black for the upper two-thirds of the painting, shading into a dark red-splotched carpet. "Ida"'s skin and hair is painted using pallid yellow and green tones, highlighted to produce wrinkles and vericose vein
s in stark contrast with the dark and subdued tones of the painting as a whole; her cheek
s and lips
are stained with red. The effect is completed by the wilted
flowers on the dresser and the haphazardly strewn purse on the ground behind the stool.
The painting gives the impressions of faded youth and hopeless vanity, a perfect example of Albrights life-long obsession with portraying the passage of time.