Girl before a Mirror

Topics: Color theory, Complementary color, Color Pages: 3 (1200 words) Published: February 13, 2014
Girl before a Mirror, an oil on canvas painting by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, shows two sides of a girl; one which is illustrated with a dark tone and one with a vibrant colorful tone. This painting is bright; colors are at full intensity and are arranged next to their complements, producing a visual relationship between shape and form. Forms are used to draw the viewer’s eye across the canvas where circular shapes, repeating throughout the work, are compensated by the pattern of diagonal lines of the background. The viewer observes the girl’s profile and full frontal image, looking into a mirror and noticing a different image of herself. In order to achieve this effect, Picasso uses a range of formal elements that highlight the overall effects of her change to clearly establish a paradoxical relationship between the two subjects. In Girl Behind the Mirror, Picasso places a strong emphasis on the strength of line formations to outline and differentiate the organization between the girl from her reflection. He uses both thick and thin horizontal, vertical, curved, and parallel lines. Most prominent though, is the use of thick, black line formations that keep the painting balanced and orderly. The frontal face and body sections rely heavily on the use of thick, black curvilinear lines which accent and alter her private and public feminine features and conform to the angles of the diamond- patterned wallpaper. He also uses the same curved thick, black vertical lines to twist her body to present her profile view and thick, black horizontal lines to show that one side is fully clothed. Contrary to this, he outlines the face on the profile side with thin vertical lines. The lines on the frontal and profile figure are more clearly defined and balanced as compared to her reflection which shows short agitated line segments that do not maintain order. The thick vertical lines on this face are shortened making her chin retrusive and her nose long. The lines on the body...
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