Girl before a Mirror

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Girl before a mirror
Artist Pablo Picasso
Year 1932
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 162.3 cm × 130.2 cm (63.9 in × 51.3 in)

Girl before a Mirror is a painting by Pablo Picasso that was created in March 1932.[1][2] Considered to be one of his masterpieces,[3] the painting has been widely known for its varied interpretations of the lover and the beloved.[2]


Picasso was married when he met Marie-Thérèse Walter who is the subject of the painting. During the 1930s, she became his favorite subject and in this painting he used colors and symbols to show the different ways he viewed her and the ways that she viewed herself.[2][4] The art work is considered erotic in Picasso's art, and received a wide range of reactions and interpretations.[1]


The painting is of woman looking into a mirror and the image is different which forms the basis of the interpretation. The woman in the painting is shown to be beautiful with smooth complexion and big eyes. The colors have been given to enhance the beauty of the woman.[2] The front part painted with choicest of colors merges with rough colors that reflect in the mirror to highlight the difference.[4]


How Pablo Picasso views his beloved forms the understanding of one interpretation where her beauty is the subject. The yellow side of her face represents happy times with Picasso. The bright colors represent the times together. This side of her face shows her youth in the makeup free completion. This woman is painted with colors that increase her beauty.[2]

The reflection represents the other interpretation of how she views herself. The colors used here are dark and make her look very old. Instead of happiness the meaning here is more of hate and unhappiness, fear and as if aging is getting on to her indicative of her fear of losing her youth.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Art Work and Description". Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Girl before a mirror". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Kammen, Michael (2009). Visual Shock: A History of Art Controversies in American Culture. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. p. 111. ISBN 0307548775. 
  4. ^ a b "Museum of Modern Art". Retrieved 7 March 2015.