Since mirrors began being incorporated into artwork by famous artists in around the fifteenth century, they’ve added depth, perspective and detail to created images, and have provided artists with opportunities for self-portraits also.
There are many examples of mirrors being used in paintings across the centuries but here are some of the most well-known.
The Arnolfini Portrait
Painted in 1434 by Early Netherlandish artist Jan Van Eyck, the Arnolfini Portrait is thought to be the earliest recording of a convex mirror in a European home. Here the artist has used the addition of a mirror to achieve perspective, adding complexity and detail. As well as viewing Arnolfini and his wife, the mirror enables you to see two further people who are looking into the room from the doorway one of whom is suspected to be the artist himself. This painting is also known as the Arnolfini Wedding and the Arnolfini Double Portrait.
Dali From The Back Painting Gala From The Back Eternalized By Six Virtual Corneas Provisionally Reflected By Six Real Mirrors
This 1973 painting by Surrealist artist Salvador Dali is technically brilliant and displays a scene in the same way as we’d view it in real life, as though we are in the room with Dali and his wife Gala, viewing the backs of their heads and their reflections in the mirror. This picture is an exploration of perspective, and is all about the undertaking of painting itself.
A Girl With A Mirror
Paulus Moreelse painted A Girl With A Mirror in 1627, depicting a young and beautiful girl smiling at the viewer as she points at her own reflection. Suggestive of the fact this girl enjoys her beauty and enjoys looking at herself in the mirror, this painting is also known as An Allegory Of Profane Love.
A Goldsmith In His Shop
Petrus Christus captured this scene in 1449, and the addition of a convex mirror reveals the world outside of the goldsmith’s shop, the world which we share as the viewer. In contrast to the goldsmith who is painted as hard at work, dealing with a young couple who are buying a wedding ring, and surrounded by all his wares, is the couple reflected in the mirror shown to be idle. The goldsmith in the painting may be the patron saint of goldsmiths, Eligius.
Also known as The Toilet Of Venus, Rokeby Venus by Diego Vel’zquez depicts the goddess of love and beauty lying naked on a bed and glancing in the mirror that her son Cupid holds up. The angle of the mirror leaves us, the viewer, uncertain as to whether Venus is admiring her own reflection or seeing who’s viewing her.
Self-portrait In A Convex Mirror
Parmigianino, whose real name is Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola but is often remembered by his nickname that is derived from his home town of Parma, painted his self-portrait in 1524. This portrait is unusual as the artist has not only captured himself in the mirror but portrayed himself as viewed in a convex mirror.
Caroline Dalzell is an experienced writer, with an enthusiasm for art.This article is written on behalf of Mirror Shop