Mirrors in Art: An Inventory

The postings in this blog do not necessarily follow any chronological order (I don’t think they follow any ‘order’ at all, but that’s another story).

Time-wise, I started this blog with from a relatively random moment in the history of mirrors in art (from the very beginning of the 15th century, to be precise, the mirrors in the books by Christine de Pizan, and then followed with a few more examples of the Medieval and Early Renaissance art). But soon it became increasingly difficult to keep up this chronological order, and it was also not even necessarily desired.  I actually prefer to write about art-mirrors from the different ages and cultures, to collide and mingle them with each other, creating opportunities for serendipity, if not stigmergy, of some sort.

However, and even for my own convenience, I decided to create this list of all postings, an Inventory of the Mirrors in Art, that would roughly follow a certain chronological time sequence and some geographic distribution, even if very vaguely.

Later I also decided to include here not-yet-written postings too, so this Inventory also works as my own internal planning tool; these to-be-written postings are marked with  ***’s (=in preparation).


This blog is inevitably very Europe-biased; I would love to write about the mirrors, and the mirrors-in-art, of many other corners and cultures of the world, but I am afraid it will require more time and energy for research than I currently have.

Ancient Mirrors 

* Mirror of Ancient Egypt – Mirrors’R’Suns, or Egyptian Reflections and Mirrotic follow-
   up (about Turin Erotic Papyrus and its mirror); I also added Mirrors, discs, and other things of Ancient Egypt (and not only)

*** Mirrors of Ancient Greece (in preparation)
*** Mirrors of Ancient Rome (in preparation)
*** Etruscan mirrors (in preparation)
*** Celtic mirrors (in preparation)

Medieval Mirrors

*  Mirror with a Siren – Mirrors in the Ormesby Psalter (c.1290-1330).

Mirror with a (Fish) Tail – Mermaids with mirrors in medieval manuscripts
(c.1200 and later).

The Tale of Two Tails, and the Mirror –  Mirrors, and melusines in the medieval

Mirror of the Master of Death –  19th century mirror decorated with the illuminations
by Remiet Perrin (c.1380)

The Mirror of the Book of the City of Ladies – Mirrors in the books by (and about)
Christine de Pizan (c.1405-1420)

Doing Self-Portraiting: Marcia in the Mirrors – Illustrations of Marcia aka Iaia of
Kyzikos in the Bocaccio’s De Claris mulieribus (c.1400)

 Look at the Unicorns! –   Tapestry The Maiden and the Unicorn by anonymous (French?)
masters (c. 1460-90)

Mirrors on the Way to Hell, and Back – Simon Marmion (c. 1425-1489), his mirrors
(and more things), and the Vision of Tundale.

Him, Too? Mirrors the Hours of Catherine of Cleves (c.1440)

(Pseudo) Psychoanalytical Layers of Medieval Mirrors – Mirrors of the Mystère
de la Vengeance

Bathsheba’s Mirrors, now in Manuscripts – Mirrors in the Bathing Bathsheba
scenes from a few manuscripts (1480-1530)

Sunny Tigers in the Mirrors – Mirrors in the legend about Tigers/Lions(?) in
the Medieval bestiaries

Mirror TV Sets of Middle Ages – Mirrors (aka visors) in the manuscripts of
   Guillaume de Deguileville (1295 – 1358)


Flanders (later the Netherlands)

Jan van Eyck:
The First Mirror in Oil –  Arnolfini Portrait (1434) + Arnolfini Betrothal, or Trust No One Ghosts of the Arnolfini Portrait;

Marble Mirror of Jan van Eyck – Annunciation diptych (1433),

The lost mirror of Jan van Eyck – Woman at her Vanity (1435) + Mirror Disclosure Mirror Closure  

The Lamb and the MirrorRobert Campin and the Werl Altar (1438)

See the Falcon?Petrus Christus and his Saint Eligius the Goldsmith (1449)

* Hans Memling
Speculum sine macula, postmodo: Memling, Madonna, Apple, Mirror
Nieuwenhove Diptych, 1487)
Hem and Haw on Hell and Wow! (Earthly Vanity and Divine Salvation, 1490)
The secrets of the third mirror of Hans Memling (The diptych of the Art Institute in Chicago)
Hieronymus Bosch

* The Dark Mirrors of Hieronymus Bosch: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things (1480) and The Garden of Earthly Delights (1495);
The Art of Finding Bosch’s Mirrors (one more mirror (?) in the Garden) +
Weaved Mirrors of Hieronymus Bosch 
(Bosch Museum in Den Bosch)

Money Lender & His MirrorsQuentin Metsys –
   The Moneylender and His Wife (1514) + Poetry in the Convex Mirror

* On pattern recognition in the mirrorsMaster of 1518 and the ‘mirror’
in the Annunciation panel of his altarpiece in St.Bova Cathedral in Ghent

Bathsheba and her Gadget MirrorJan MassysBathsheba Observed by the King David’ (1555)

Jan de Beer & The Grandma’s Mirror – The Birth of the Virgin (1520) (I later wrote a small posting about my visit to the museum where this work is on display – More mirror reunions). I also write about his work in the posting about the scenes of Annunciation (~ 1002 virgins and their (alleged) mirrors)

* Jan Rombouts – Mother and/or Grandmother, and Mirror (1515)

Master of Great Adoration –  ExtravagAnt! & its mirrors and than Serendipitous reunions with the mirror-in-art 

Mirror Tic-Tac-Toe: Mirror-like ‘thingies’ in Gerard David‘s Mystical marriage

of Saint Catherine (1510) & Jan Provoost‘s Annunciation (1510)

Doors, windows, walls – and mirrors – of Jan Vermeer

* Gerard Ter Borch: An elective affinitty of mirrors, and brothels

On mirrors, tables and walls (and yes, girls too); but now in the context(s) – Mirrors in the genre scenes of Dutch masters (Pieter CoddeCaspar Netscher, Gabriël Metsu, Frans van MierisPieter de Hooch, Cornelis de Man & Pieter Janssens Elinga – and Rembrandt)

Sacra oculi, or Curriculum with a mirror – mirrors of Jan van Scorel

Bernard van Orley – Van Orley and his patient mirror, Van Orley’s Mirrors +1 and ~ 1002 virgins and their (alleged) mirrors (there is Annunciation by van Orley in this posting).

Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen – There are two types of mirrors: Those you look at, and the real ones (a mirror and a ‘mirror’ in the panel The Birth of the Virgin Mary) + On miraculous mirrors, and suicides – the panel about King Saul and the Witch of Endor.

Pieter Coecke van Aelst – I wrote about his works in different places (e.g., Mirrors of the Virginal Thrones), and also in Re Annunciation



Unicorns in the Proximity of Golgotha – Gabriel Mälesskircher and Altar with the Evangelists (1478)

Of Mirrors, and (Love) Magic: Anonymous master of Norther Rhein (1480)

Bewitched Mirrors of Hans Baldung (Witches at the Sabbath (c.1508), Three Ages of Women and Death (1510),  Death and a Maiden with a mirror (1515), Woman with a Mirror and the Skull (1528)

The (lack of) Mirrors of Lucas Cranach & (almost lack of) Mirrors of Albrecht Durer: (1490-1550)

Atoning efficacy of mirrorsLukas Furtenagel – The Portrait of Hans Burgkmair and His Wife Anna (1527)

Between the Comb and the Mirror – Scilla with a Mirror by Peter Vischer the Younger (1514)

Heinrich Aldegrever – Speculum Rex, Aeternum

* Under-twisted Mirror of Derick Baegert Mirror-like Thingies by the PillowDerick Baegert‘s Altar of St.Annunciation & St.George Defeating the Dragon (1506) – I later also wrote another posting about this altarpiece in Schermbeck, In pursuit of the mirrors of Derick Baegert and then one more, about this Dortmund altarpiece – Eucharistic doves, or The farther, the rounder.

Georg Pencz – Not one, but two… goldsmiths with a mirror! (1545) &
Collateral reflections in the shells

Inconspicuous Mirrors of Israhel van Meckenem

On the grand-grand-mother’s mirrors – the story about Wonder Altar in Dortmund (created by Adrian van Overbeck  and Jan Gilleszoo)



* Juan de Flandes – Mirrus Christ! The Wedding in Cana (1498) + Smashing mirrors, precious reflections + Mirrors. Or Not? Altar of St.John the Baptist (1500) + And other hm-hm-hm

* Master of Girard – Black Mirrors of St.Anthony

Las Meninas and other mirrors of Diego Velázquez + a short account of my ‘reunion’ with Las Meninas,  New meetings with the old mirrors,  which also tells about another Spanish master,

* Juan Carreño de Miranda  and his portraits of Carlos II and Marianna van Austria with mirrors.


Double Binding Mirrors of Giovanni BelliniAllegories (1480) and Donna with Two Mirrors (1515) + Con due specchi e due facce  + Elbow Weaving in a Mirror

TitianDonnas con duo specchi (1516-1530), V + V = W/M, or Titian’s Otherworldly MirrorMirrors and Venuses +Preliminary exercises with Venuses + Mirror sacrifice

Da Vinci, and the Translucencies – of the (lack) of mirrors of Leonardo da Vinci

* Tintoretto –  Volcanic Reflections – Venus and Mars Surprised by Vulcan (1545) &

Mirrors of the Kindled Fire Tintoretto – Susanna and the Elders  (1555) &  Behind the Shield – Venus, Vulcan and Cupid (1551)

Mirror of the MirrorParamigianino‘s Self-Portrait in Convex Mirror (1524)

Caravaggio – M & M Inside Out (Martha and Mary Magdalene, 1598) +
Fleur d’Oranger = Jesus’ Bride & 
Narcissus (1597) + Mirrors in Water: The Story of Narcissuss

Raphael’s Mirrorless Madonnas (The story is Under Translation)

* Giulio Romano’s Romantic Mirrors (1531)

CÆSERE RIPA: Reflective Iconology: Mirrors in the Iconology by Cesare Ripa (1593)

Skeletons in the closets, now with the mirrors – Cassoni & Titian’s Venus of Urbino

* The Italian (Mirror) Puzzle

Mirrors of Palazzo Veccio (including the work by Giorgio Vasari)


La Belle Gabrielle 

Fontainebleau School №1

Nude of Fontainebleau with Flowers, and Mirrors

Georges de La Tour – Candlelit Repentance with Mirrors

Abraham Bosse and the mirrors in vista

Mirrors on the whimsical stands: Three famous portraits of famous women (now with famous mirrors)

Topical postings

Cycles of the Mirror’s Meanings: – Inflections of the meaning of mirrors in European Art in 15th-16th century.

Mirrors… or not? Chasing the lost meaning of Oculi Domini 

* Mirrors in the scenes of Annunciation –  In numerous different postings plus in a special one about this topic: ~ 1002 virgins and their (alleged) mirrors Further forward (a follow-up with more examples of ‘mirrors’)

* Story of Susanna and the Elders –  Mirrors of the Kindled Fire & Susanna and More

Meta-Odigitria, and the Saint Mirrors: St. Luke Painting Mary, and the Mirrors

* Shields/Reflections in art: Of(f) the Shield +  Of shields, and Dragons 

A & R, or Mirror of Myth(Making): Mirrors of Armida & Rinaldo legend

Of the mirrors sensorial (Allegory of the Five Senses, and mirrors) – From Dirk de Quade van Ravesteyn to Pieter Bruegel the Elder & Peter Paul Rubens, then Hendrik Goltzius and Jacob Matham, and to Sebastian Stoskopff, Jacques Linard, and Lubin Baugin (and few more).

*  Mirrors of Prudence: Prudence at her Toilette (large number of works by many – mainly Italian – artists) and Prudence goes North (again, the works by many artists, but mainly Flemish or German).  Plus The Mirrors of Prudence, Caput Mundi, with a few examples I later found in Rome.  Plus On Prudences, far and near, about Prudence of the Anwerpen City Hall.

* Pontius Pilate in Mirrors – use of ‘mirrors’ in the depictions of this scene (mainly by Flemish and German masters) plus FuP: Following-up Pilate (and his mirrors)


Baroque, Rococo (~ XVII – XVIII century)

Domesticated Mirrors of François Boucher

Classicism (XVIII – XIX centuries)

The Faculty of Useless MirrorsMoritz von Schwind‘s Morgenstunde

Modern Art (XIX – XX centuries)

* Mirrors of Edgar Degas (1856 – 1888): All Mirrors of Degas, in Nine Parts, with Prologue, Epilogue (and a Bonus)Part I, Part II (Ballet), Part  III (Basins) + (Photo) Bonus Toilette after the Bath

Manet Enters the Bar, or Bricolage of the hollow mirrors: Mirrors of Eduard Manet

Serial Mirrors of Henri Matisse

George Hendrik Breitner – Kimono, mirror, et un peu de tristesse (#NSFW)

* Pierre Bonnard: Part I (Bonnard’s Mirrors, or Amber Intimism) and Part II (Bonnard’s Mirrors, or Late (Auto)Reflections)

Hentai with the mirrors, (carte) Blanche – Jacques-Émile Blanche

Mirror Has Arrived! – Ivan Goryshkin-Skoropudov /Иван Силыч Горюшкин-Сорокопудов (1910)

On Richard Hamilton, the mirrors, and myself

Marcel Duchamp – In the manner of Delvaux (1942)

Paul Delvaux and Melancholic Nudity of his Mirror Worlds

René Magritte & The (Broken) Keys to the Splitted Mirrors

* Louise Bourgeois et sexs miroirs

* (Joan) Miró, Before, & After

* Salvador Dali and his autopoietic )( worlds

“Each day in the mirror I watch death at work”: Francis Bacon

Robert Doisneau & Mirrors

Dorothea Tanning R.I.P.

Roy Lichtenstein, Master of Fictitious Mirrors

The other mirrors of David Hockney

Des jeunes filles à la lumière des miroirs symboliques: Balthus & Mirrors

* Pablo Picasso:  The mirror-thingie of young Picasso, Picasso and the Women (and a few mirrors in between) – Part I & Part II

Soft Serendipity – Mirrors by Sergey Myagkikh (1980s)

Mirroring the Olympic race – Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Dali & Magritte.

Francesca Woodman, a Mirrowoman

Mirrors are for porn. Reflecting on early pornphotography



Other Topical Postings

The Alices

180 Years Through the Looking Glass

We’re All Mad Here



Non-European Mirrors, unfortunately, follow the pattern ‘and everything else’ so far.
As I wrote earlier, I would love to have many more postings in this cluster.

* Mirror of Ancient Persia (in preparation)

* Mirror of Ancient India (in preparation)


* Mirror Bodhisattva – mirrors in the depictions of Avalokiteśvara

Yami the Goddess and Mirror Tortoises – mirrors in a the sculptures of Yami

* Mirror of Ancient China (in preparation)

* Mirror of Ancient Japan (in preparation) 



Contemporary ‘mirrors-in-art’ are often difficult to affiliate to any particular national or temporal structure. Sure, some of them are still produced by the ‘national’ artists, but the majority, and increasingly so, are being shaped by our global, weirdly connected culture. Many of them are also re-appropriations of the earlier works, and so their time-stamp is also very blurred.  I combine them all into one strange category

The Other Mirrors

* Yayoi Kusama, or Goat the Gardener

Walasse Ting (Ding Xiongquan) – Olympia (1982)

Sean Kernan – A prisoner in solitary confinement (1979)

Nevin Aladağ – Average Family & Mirrors (2007)

Anish Kapoor’s mirror works in De Pont Museum in Tilburg

Sangram Majumdar – Scarecrow (2010)

Vladimir Leninovitch Reflected in Antwerp – Raynond Minnen

Bosch Briсollages by (Jacques) Brissot

Serial mirrors s prevodom – Photography by Robert Hutinski

A fighter from the Free Syrian Army uses a mirror to locate the position of a pro-government sniper

and one specific sub-cluster


* Velazquez’ Las Meninas: Contemplating reinterpretations (slides)

* Feel the Force, or The Layers of Mistresspretations (reinterpretations of Gabrielle d’Estrées and Her Sister)

* Jan van Eyck: Arnolfini & After (film + slides)

* Caravaggio: Re: Narcissus (film + slides)

Yury Kruglikov – Money, Mirror, and Stones (2010)

Books & Texts & Other (Multi)Media

Masterpieces in Details in Details: Rose-Marie & Rainer Hagen

Mooi, mooier, mooiste: 100 Beautiful Women in Art




TEFAF’17:  Old Masters + Modern Mirrors + Post-Modern Mirrors + Deep History



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