Artwork Title: The Mirror

The Mirror, 1966

Fairfield Porter

Porter painted several self portraits of himself in the studio, and here he combines a self portrait with a portrait of his 10-year-old daughter Elizabeth in the family's Southampton house. The Mirror's composition is complex: Elizabeth faces the viewer (and, by implication, the artist), and the mirror acts as a picture-within-a-picture, reflecting Porter as well as the room and the landscape beyond the window. In this single work, Porter pays homage to several of his artistic heroes. One is Édouard Vuillard, of course, but he also refers to Henri Matisse, whose Carmelina used a similar device of a frontally posed girl and a mirror reflecting the artist, and Diego Velazquez, whose Las Meninas is the forerunner of all such self portraits within studio portraits of young women. Leonardo da Vinci is even present, in a detail of the Mona Lisa pinned to the studio wall. Despite these art-historical allusions, however, the... []
Uploaded on May 26, 2015 by Suzan Hamer

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