Inscribed on old blue mount at lower right, in brown ink, "Jordaens", and in graphite, "120"; at upper left, in graphite, "1543". On verso of old mount, at lower right, in three different hands, in graphite, "A true Drawing. W / very fine. M / Do Ph"; below, in another hand, in graphite, "Jordaens from Calonnes Sale / 3. 13. 6"; above, in Farifax Murray's hand, in graphite, "Engraved-the print is / with Plantin Moretus / No. 13" at upper right, in graphite, "44".
Tuinen, Ilona van. Power and Grace : Drawings by Rubens, Van Dyck, and Jordaens. New York : Morgan Library & Museum, 2018, no. 14 (repr.)
Collection J. Pierpont Morgan : Drawings by the Old Masters Formed by C. Fairfax Murray. London : Privately printed, 1905-1912, I, 237.
Stampfle, Felice, with the assistance of Ruth S. Kraemer and Jane Shoaf Turner. Netherlandish Drawings of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries and Flemish Drawings of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1991, p. 131, no. 284, repr.
The young woman is presented with a choice: look in a mirror held up by a jester or contemplate a skull in the hands of an old man. Because she is running a comb through her hair and seems untroubled by the presence of the powerful symbol of mortality, she seems to have decided. This depiction of the proverb "Kent u selven" (Know yourself) is a design for an engraving attributed to Jacob Neefs. -- Exhibition Label, from "Power and Grace: Drawings by Rubens, Van Dyck, and Jordaens"
Hazard, James, former owner.
Calonne, Charles Alexandre de, 1734-1802, former owner.
Palmerston, Henry Temple, Viscount, 1739-1802, former owner.
Palmerston, Henry John Temple, Viscount, 1784-1865, former owner.
Mount Temple, William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron, 1811-1888, former owner.
Ashley, Evelyn, 1836-1907, former owner.
Murray, Charles Fairfax, 1849-1919, former owner.
Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, former owner.