The glance inquisitively (and affectionately) toward the

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The title of this brilliant composition is "Girl Before a Mirror" by Pablo Picasso. Picasso was a Spanish painter from Malaga, Spain, but spent the majority of his life in France, where he produced this portrait of his beautiful mistress Marie Therese Walter in 1932.Girl Before a Mirror was painted with Oil on canvas, 64 x 51 1/4″, and is now property of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

The piece was a gift of Mrs. Simon Guggenheim. During the year of 1932, Picasso's productivity increased dramatically, a direct result of Picasso's pleasure with his newest love, Marie Therese Walter. Captivated by Walter, Picasso commenced a luxuriant series featuring her face and profile, which progressively became more harmonious and lyrical. In the case of the girl before the mirror, Picasso is telling a story of their love. Walter is portrayed in two forms: herself as Picasso sees her, and her reflection.

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Her eyes are properly on opposite sides of her nose; however, as we look at her face, it changes like an animated cartoon, from a beautiful, evocative face seen full on, shining like a full moon, to a calm pensive profile, to subtle differences in whether she's seen as looking right at the painter or half looking toward the mirror. The whole effect is as if her head were seen in the process of turning from a deep gaze into the mirror to glance inquisitively (and affectionately) toward the observer. A quote from John Berger (1965) " What makes these paintings [the portraits of Marie Therese] different is the degree of their direct sexuality. They refer without any ambiguity at all to the experience of making love to this woman. They describe sensations and, above all, the sensations of sexual comfort." I couldn't have said it any better myself. The curvilinear lines signify the voluptuous curves, giving it a feeling of feminine sensuality.

The roundness of her abdomen raises the idea of pregnan…


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