Mirrors in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

This posting is of course about mirrors in art, but mainly a (refelctive) homage to i_shmael, who is tirelessly running around the world’s museums, and then equally tirelessly sharing all their art treasure with his readers (mostly viewers, to be precise). 

This time the museum happened to be Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (large collections of the paintings from the museum can be seen here, here, here and here). As it turned out, this museum is incredibly rich with the “Mirrors in Art” – there are at least five super-blockbusters of this genre there, shown above (and these are not even all the works!). When writing my own stories about this paintings, I usually referred that they are currently on display in this museum, but I had never consciously realized that they there ALTOGETHER!

I was also seriously with myself – with the fact that I actually managed to write at least something about all these works! See

Donna con due specchi (Giovanni Bellini)
An Atoning Efficacy of the Mirrors (Lukas Furtenagel)
Mirror of the Mirror (Parmigianino)
Mirrors of the Kindled Fire (Tintoretto)
* Bewitched Mirrors of Hans Baldung

The results of my explorations, that is, the postings themselves, invariably leave me very ashamed; but the very fact that I did go and studied something, makes me glad.

Speaking about the museum per se, I have a particular ‘tooth’ on it, in fact, quite a large one. I don’t like to way they display artworks, the way they describe them (often plain wrongly); their website used to be very bad (it’s getting better now, but still far from what you can expect these days). But all in all, I’d still say big Thank you! for the very collection they manage to assemble.

To finish with something more relevant to the mirrors, I was pleased to see that at least their amount is growing! For example, there’s not one, but two Tintoretto’s Susannas now (and subsequently four Lustful Elders):

Apparently, somebody (=an anonymous master) made a very accurate copy of the Tintoretto’s Susanna, almost a hundred years later; the quality of the copy is good, that not everyone can tell the difference with the original!

And as I wrote, these are not even all ‘mirror works’ of this museum! So, more homage is to follow.


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