Mirror, mirror……






Male Nude Holding a Mirror, and detail, c. 1500, pen and ink lightly indented with a stylus.

 Albrecht Dürer, 1471-1528, German.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC





DSC04692DSC04695Venus with a Mirror, oil on canvas. 

Titian, 1490-1576, Venetian.  National Gallery of Art (promised gift)





DSC04658A Hanging Wall Pouch, oil on panel, 1677. 

Cornelis Gijsbrechts, active c. 1659- c.1675.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC






Pierced mirror frame carved of nephrite, India or Central Asia, 18th century. 

Metropolitan Museum, NY






Mirror case, painted by Zain Al ‘Abidin, Iran, mid-19th century; pasteboard, papier mache; opaque watercolour, gilded and lacquered. 

Metropolitan Museum, NY







Lady Lilith, 1866-68 and detail, oil on canvas. 

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, English, 1828-1882.  A portrait of two separate women. 

Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington







Torero’s Toilet, 1866, oil on woodpanel.  Eduardo Zamacols y Zabala, 1842-1871, Spanish. 

Philadelphia Art Museum








Lady At A Mirror

Rainer Maria Rilke, 1875-1926, German


As in sleeping-drink spices
softly she loosens in the liquid-clear
mirror her fatigued demeanor;
and she puts her smile deep inside.


And she waits while the liquid
rises from it; then she pours her hair
into the mirror, and, lifting one
wondrous shoulder from the evening gown,



she drinks quietly from her image. She drinks
what a lover would drink feeling dazed,
searching it, full of mistrust; and she only



Before The Mirror and detail 1876, oil on canvas. Édouard  Manet, 1832-1883, French.  Solomon R. Guggenheim, NY

beckons to her maid when at the bottom
of her mirror she finds candles, wardrobes,
and the cloudy dregs of a late hour.









Woman with a Fan and detail, c. 1878/79, oil on canvas.  Mary Cassatt, 1884-1926, American. 

National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC






Toulouse-Lautrec Painting Toulouse-Lautrec,

(Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1864-1901, French)

gelatin silver print, negative of 1892, print of 1930; taken by Maurice Guibert, 1856-1913, French. Philadelphia Art Museum






Woman Before a Mirror, 1897, oil on cardboard.  Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1864-1901, French.  Metropolitan Musuem of Art, NY





Vase of Flowers on a Mantelpiece, c. 1900, oil on cardboard. Edouard Vuillard, 1868-1940, French.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC











In Much Wisdom, 1902, bronze with black patina, sand cast, inlay of stone and gilded glass.  Charles Grafly, 1862-1929, American.  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

  An allegorical piece about the attributes of a mythical goddess





Mother and Child, c. 1905, oil on canvas.  Mary Cassatt, 1844-1926, American.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC







La Coiffure, 1906, oil on canvas.  Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973, Spanish.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

The museum notes that the artist abandoned the usual eroticism associated with mirrors and placed these three in a Nativity setting.

There is no reflection in the mirror, though, which I find odd.






The Mirror, c. 1910, oil on canvas. 

Robert Reid, 1862-1969, American.  Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC. 

I don’t know what the references of this strange painting are.







Woman with a Mirror, 1911, oil on canvas. 

Frederick Carl Frieseke, 1874-1939, American.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY






After the Bath, 1910, oil on canvas. 

Pierre Bonnard, 1867-1947, French. Metropolitan Museum, NY






Standing Odalisque Reflected in a Mirror, 1923, oil on canvas. 

Henri Matisse, 1869, 1954, French.  Baltimore Museum of Art






In the Boudoir (Before the Mirror),  1915, oil, graphite, metal, wood on panel (with light interference)  

Alexander Archipenko, 1887-1967, American born Ukraine.  Philadelphia Museum of Art







Still Life with Gramaphone and Iris and detail, 1924, oil on canvas. 

Max Beckmann, 1884-1950, German.  In a private collection, NY and displayed in 2016 at the Metropolitan Museum, NY.

The inscription on the dark red Bohemian glass says ‘In Memory of Frankfurt’.






The Mirror, 1925, oil on canvas.  Fernand Leger, 1881-1955, French.

Probably at MOMA, NY but I don’t recall.







Girl with Mirror and detail, 1928, oil on canvas.  Walt Kuhn, 1877-1949, American.  The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC









Sylvia Plath, 1932-1963, American


I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.

I am not cruel, only truthful ‚
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.





Woman Bathing, 1890-91, drypoint and aquatint.  Mary Cassatt, 1844-1926, American.  Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC



Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.





The Coiffure, 1890-91, drypoint and aquatint.  Mary Cassatt, 1844-1926, American.  Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC







Helen of Troy, 1898, oil on canvas

Evelyn de Morgan, 1855-1919, British. Loaned to the Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington by the de Morgan Foundation, UK, in 2023. 

An unusual setting for Helen of Troy, the unwitting and passive initiator of the Trojan war.  Here she is surrounded by the symbols of peace.






Girl Before a Mirror, 1932, oil on canvas. 

Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973, Spanish.  MOMA, NY







Nude in an Interior and detail, c, 1935, oil on canvas. 

Pierre Bonnard, 1867-1947, French.  The Phillips Collection,  Washington, DC







Fulang-Chang and I, 1937, assembled after 1939; oil on composition board (1937) with painted mirror frame (added after 1939); and mirror with painted mirror frame (after 1939). 

Frieda Kahlo, 1907-1954, Mexican.  MOMA, NY

Both were a gift from Frida Kahlo to her friend, Mary Sklar so that the latter could be with her whenever she wanted to be.







Young Woman in Dressing Room and detail, c. 1940s, Chennai.

 Y.G. Srimati, 1926- 2007, Indian.  On display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, 2016-2017






Magic Mirror, 1946,  handcoloured lithographs. 

 Max Beckmann, 1884-1950, German. Kunstahalle Bremen





The Evil Eye, 1947, mixed media.

  Erico Donati,  1909-2008.  American born Italy.  Philadelphia Art Museum






Café Interior with Mirror Play, oil on canvas, 1949.

 Max Beckmann, 1884-1950, German.  In a private collection in Germany and displayed in 2016 at the Metropolitan Museum, NY





Herbet Bliss, the New York City Ballet, 1952, gelatin silver print.

George Platt Lynes, 1907-1955.  Solomon R. Guggenheim, NY






Mirrors for sale in the Sunday market on the Sabarmati River, Ahmedabad, Gujerat, India, 2010 




NY March 30 2018 194NY March 30 2018 193-1

The Experiment, 2012, polyester resin, glass fiber, acrylic paint, glass eyes, human hair, wood lacquer, mirror, metal parts and leather. 

Elmgreen and Dragset.  Private collection on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2018






Persimmon, 1964, oil and silkscreen-ink print on canvas.

  Robert Rauschenberg, 1925-2008.  Collection of Jean-Christophe Castelli and displayed in a retrospective at MOMA, spring/summer of 2017





Point of View, 1967, etching.  Edward Staffell, 1933-2015.  State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg





Ada with a Mirror, 1969, oil on canvas.

Alex Katz, American born 1927. Private collection loan to the Solomon R. Guggenheim, NY in 2022





Michelangelo Pistoletto, Italian, born 1933;

paintings and silkscreen on polished steel from an exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Museum in 2015






Portrait of Clino, 1963; painted tissue paper on polished steel. 




Pistoletto MOMA June 2015-1

Pistoletto MOMA June 2015-2

Look at the cut of his trousers.  It’s enough to make you faint!





Seated Woman from Behind, 1963-64; painted tissue paper on polished steel. 




Detail of Marzia with the Baby, 1964; painted tissue paper on polished steel. 






Details of No to the Raise of the Tram Fare, 1965; painted tissue paper on polished steel. 








Two Nude Women Dancing, 1966, painted tissue paper on polished stainless steel.






Deposition, 1973, silkscreen on polished stainless steel















Nude Woman Drinking Tea (the artist’s wife, Maria Pioppi), 1971. Painted tissue paper on polished steel. 

Only the woman drinking tea is painted.  Everything else is ‘real’ and was in a gallery at the Philadelphia Art Museum




Woman Who Points, conceived 1962, executed 1982.  Silkscreen on polished stainless steel. 

Michelangelo Pistoletto, Italian, born 1933.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

The only thing painted is the woman pointing.

  The pillared building in the background is the Canadian Embassy on the other side of the street from the National Gallery.









Nursery Rhyme and detail, 1971, oil on canvas. 

Honoré Sharrer, 1920-2009, American.  On loan by private collectors to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, summer 2017.

Hey! diddle, diddle,  The cat and fiddle, The cow jumped over the moon; The little dog laughed to see such sport, And the dish ran away with the spoon






Double Self-Portrait, Outward Pose, 1970, drawing on canvas. 

Richard Wilt, 1915-1981, American.  Pennsylvania Academy of fine Art





My parents, 1977, oil on canvas. 

David Hockney, British born 1937.  Tate, London loaned to the Metropolitan, New York in 2017






Mirror Image, 1990, ink on paper, hand printing and printed collage on paper. 

Nancy Spero, 1926-2009, American.  Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art







Interior with Mobile, 1992, oil and magna on canvas. 

Roy Lichtenstein, 1923-1997, MOMA, NY







Eileen with Gloves, Ruth, Eva, Marie with Deer, 2005, enamel paint on mirror. 

Rachel Feinstein, American born  1971.  Private collections on loan to the Jewish Museum, NY in 2020.







Monica Lewisnky, 2007,  from a series ’48 Jew’; oil on canvas. 

Abshalom Jac Lahav, American born Israel.  Jewish Museum, NY







(Untitled) Mirror Girl, and detail, 2007, PVC on Panel. 

Kerry James Marshall, American born 1955,  Exhibited in 2016 at the Metropolitan Museum, NY: a first retrospective to have been given this artist in New York.


The artist, an auto-didact in the matter of art, has sought to expand the Western pictorial tradition by using its techniques to depict African-American history,  life, views of the country’s mythology and of their own. 

The artist uses the same shade of black for all his figures because he is talking about the existential experience of Afro-Americans and not about the politics of skin shade within the Afro-American community which are complex in themselves.






Double America, neon and paint, 2012.  Glenn Ligon, American born 1960.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC







Truck Paris and detail, 1963, acrylic on canvas with object.

  Elizabeth Osborne, American born 1936.Collection of the artist on loan to the Delaware Art Museum in 2016. 






DSC05041Self-Portrait/Part 5, Jacquard tapestry, edition of 6. 

Chuck Close, American, born 1940.  Private collection on loan to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia






Mirror, 2010, oil on panel. 

Joshua Marsh, American born 1973.  Woodmere Museum, Philadelphia






Hidden behind a door and against a wall in the studio of my friend, the artist Angela Valeria, American born 1940.  Brooklyn, NY








Goodbye and detail, tempera with pencil on hardboard, 2008.

  Andrew Wyeth, 1917-2009, American. 

Collection of Andrew and Betsy Wyeth on display in the summer of 2017 at the Brandywine River Museum.

Andew Wyeth, widely held to be the foremost North American figurative and realist painter of the second half of the 20th century, lived in Maine and also in the Brandywine River area on Pennsylvania’s border with Delaware.

This painting of a sail loft, given to the artist by his wife and moved to this little island off the Maine coast, and a sloop moving out of the picture frame on the left was his last painting.  He died seven months later. 






iPhone (Jay), 2013, ink and pencil on paper. 

Mia Rosenthal, unknown details, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia








Tempting Eyes, 2017, carved and stained pine wood, gouache and pigments on handmade wasili paper, plexiglass. 

Humaira Abid, American born Pakistan, 1977.  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

A commentary on a 2011 Saudi Arabian law which permitted the covering of women’s eyes if they were found to be ‘tempting’.  Also a commentary on the long fight of women to be able to drive.






Mirror, Mirror, 2018, mixed media.

  Melanie Delach, 2018 graduate with a Master of Fine Arts at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia














6 thoughts on “Mirror, mirror……

    1. Agreed. I think Pistoletto wants to include everyone passing. It was hard to photo his work without being included! Of course, people were also positioning themselves in order to be photographed in his tableaux!

  1. My goodness. What an amazing and totally fascinating collection of images. Thank you. And for the accompanying verses. I shall return to this offering many more times. And – in my head – probably every time I look in a mirror.

    1. I love mirrors for their light-expanding qualities more than anything. What an invention! Michelangelo Pistoletto’s work is so clever because you don’t know what is painted and what is ‘real’. Thanks for looking, Susannah.

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