Artwork Title: Still Life With Self Portrait

Still Life With Self Portrait, 1918

Mark Gertler

The convex mirror, which in 'The Arnolfini Portrait' famously shows a reflection of van Eyck himself, left a lasting impression on the Pre-Raphaelites. They adapted the device as a means of exploring ideas of distortion, doubling, and reflection, but also as a way to convey a complex psychological drama.... Mark Gertler’s portrait raises a curious question. By painting a reflective self-portrait in the still life genre, Gertler seems to suggest that he, like the open bag of fruit spilled in front of the mirror in his painting, will someday decay and pass from this life. The Japanese samurai depicted to the right of the mirror underscores this, as the warrior appears to aggressively bring down his katana upon Gertler’s reflection. Within this exhibit, Gertler’s mirror most closely resembles van Eyck’s mirror [in The Arnolfini Portrait], quoting both its shape and bulbous quality. Similar to Dali’s portrait as well, Gertler toys with the viewer’s conception of who or what the focal point is in the painting. (
Uploaded on Oct 13, 2017 by Suzan Hamer

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