Girl Before A Mirror- Sydney Harris

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Girl Before a Mirror (March 1932) by Pablo Piccaso

Girl Before a Mirror was painted by Pablo Picasso in March of 1932 the women in the painting was his young lover, Marie-Thérèse Walter. In this painting Picasso uses colors and symbols to show the different ways he views her,  and the ways that she views herself.

The woman in the painting is very beautiful. She has a smooth complexion and pretty eyes. One side of her face is yellow with green eye shadow and crimson blush. That side of her face also has bright red lipstick on her lips. The other side of her face is a light purple the same color as her arms and some of her lower body. The light purple side of the face is free of any makeup but her eye on that side is very promenade and clear.

In Girl Before a Mirror, Marie-Thérèse Walter, who is the woman of focus, is looking into a mirror, in the reflection she is much darker and there are different symbols on her body then the one looking into the mirror. In the mirror she has dark purple, green and a bright red splash on her face. There seems to be a shadow on her face. Her body is covered in mint green lines that are all sloping downward. In this reflection both of her eyes are circular and red. One is bright red and the other is a deep crimson and they both look out of focus.

One interpretation of this painting is that the women looking into the mirror is how Pablo Picasso views his lover. She is a creature of beauty. The yellow side of her face represents when they are out together and she is all made up. The yellow of her completion represents the fun that they have together while the other side of her face the light purple would be when they are alone. This side of her face shows her youth in the makeup free completion. This woman is painted with colors that increase her beauty.

The reflection represents how she views herself, the dark purple make her look very old. The bright splash of orange on her face shows the makeup but instead of the gaiety that Picasso sees, she sees herself faking and her own unhappiness. The red color of her eyes represent the hate and unhappiness she sees when she views herself. Red can be linked to the devil which represents fear and hatred from this it can be denounced that she hates her image. The shadows that are painted on her face also make her seem like she has a lot of wrinkles as well the lines on her body make it look like her skin is sagging this is indicative of her fear of losing her youth.

Girl Before the Mirror uses colors and shapes to show different lights in which Picasso views his lover and how she views herself. Picasso shows the beauty and happiness of how he views her verses the aging and unhappiness of how she sees herself. The colors and shapes show Marie-Thérèse Walter viewing herself with hatred and fear whereas Picasso views her with joy and love.

Picasso, Pablo. Girl Before A Mirror. Digital image. Pablopicasso. Web. 29 Oct. 2013. <http://www.pablopicasso.org/girl-before-mirror.jsp&gt;.

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One comment

  1. you show a clear and deep understanding for what the artist was trying to convey through the use of colors and textures. You also show a clear understanding of the artist’s background and how he is trying to convey his message. You also are able to describe the thought process very clearly. Overall it is a great depiction of Picasso’s painting, but could be a little less wordy at points.

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