Paintings ineffability

Altoon Sultan writes a beautiful piece about looking for his blog Studio and Garden.
  I know that when I am looking at this small painting at the Met, I feel pierced by sadness, compassion, love. But how does one speak of the ineffable?

Hans Memling, Portrait of an Old Man, ca. 1475; oil on wood, 10 3/8 x 7 5/8 in.

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