This painting, entitled Venus in the Mirror, represents the classic image of naked Venus accompanied by Cupid. She sits in front of a dark red curtain, and her image is reflected in the viewer's eyes. This work emphasizes the richness of detail, both in color and texture, used by the artist to create an impression of sensuality and luxury. It takes up a popular Renaissance theme, the motif of Venus contemplating herself in a mirror, a composition widely used by Titian and his workshop.
Painted in the early 17th century, the figure is seen from the front, with her face turned towards the mirror and her body turned to the left. This position, together with the position of her hands, refers to the classical "Venus Pudica", where one hand is placed to cover the chest and the other on the knees. This pose creates an impression of asymmetry and draws the viewer's gaze to these specific areas.The use of this pose allows the viewer to fully see the figure, while remaining unobtrusive, she is meant to be aware of the viewer, but not directly, through the use of the mirror.
This piece comes from a disciple of Titian of the Venetian school and is similar to a work that is a highlight in the collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. This painting, titled Venus with Mirror, has served as the basis for many variations on the theme.
Specific decorative inclusions such as her jewelry also reflect her status as a goddess. Pearls, such as the one she wears as an earring, were often used in Venus iconography to identify her to the viewer and to reference her miraculous creation from water.
The artistic use of textile is an important aspect of this work, as the luxurious red fabric is used to contrast with the bright white of her skin. The inclusion of detailed embroidery on the fabric adds to the luxury of this image, which is meant to reflect the elegance of Venus.
One of the fundamental concepts of Renaissance production is the stylistic revival of classical imagery. This piece perfectly illustrates the references to Titian's style, as it depicts Venus in the style of a classical sculpture, as she stretches to cover her bosom. The conscious use of naked flesh while clothed indicates the sensuality of the image the painter is trying to evoke.
The work is also done in a similar style to a painting currently housed in the Bordeaux Museum of Fine Arts and uses the same iconography to depict Venus as a modern, sensual figure. The use of a deep red pigment emphasizes the soft and opulent emotion that has been prescribed to this image.
Certificate of expertise and authenticity made by Mr René Millet.
( Dimensions without the frame H111cm x 92cm )
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