Pablo Picaso "Girl Before a Mirror"- Discussing Cubism

Topics: Painting, Cubism, History of painting Pages: 2 (731 words) Published: October 17, 2010
I have selected a painting to examine the style, medium, and the use of the visual elements and design principles as noted above. In Picasso’s “Girl before a Mirror” the canvas portrays a young and beautiful girl in the act of evaluating herself in an oval mirror which reflects her likeness in a distorted way. The mirror lengthens her nose while curbing her check and jaw. Her face is now a chalky lilac tone, the blush on the check into an orange shaped tear drop. Her eye’s shape are different and now purple circles. This rearrangement makes the reflections looks ghostly and fearsome as the image of a human being. The spectator is reminded of the vanities in which a woman, viewing her countenance in a mirror, sees herself not the way she looks but as old withered, or as a skeleton. The design is based in symmetrical balance, one side is suppose to mirror the other; His girl is composed of two half which complement one another; the woman on the left and her full frontal figure in the mirror. On page 146, the author discusses how the symmetry draws the eyes in focusing how different the two sides actually are. The differences suggest this woman is concerned with her own inner self, her fragmentation, and her mysteries, but not her sexual allure. Her body is not a thing of beauty in the painting, because Picasso wanted to show that perception changes everything. Warm and cool colors are also used to indicate the transformation that the woman goes thru as she looks at her reflection. Once side of her face is yellow and surrounded by an oval of white and green, almost like an aura as the author on pg 147 points out. The viewer sees two different figures, one on the outside and the other a reflection. But the reflection is a false image of the girl. She reaches out towards the reflection, as if to embrace yet another part of herself that she sees in the mirror.The colors seem to suggest the woman is with child, and not only looking at what the power of the body can do...
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