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A Woman at Her Mirror

Photo credit: The Wallace Collection

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Notes

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In seventeenth-century Dutch painting the mirror, which generally symbolised vanity or human frailty, could also connote lasciviousness or voluptuousness. The woman holds a double sided ivory comb in her right hand. In the emblematic literature of the day the comb served as a reminder of the dual nature of earthly goods, which could be employed for either virtue or vice. The picture can thus be read as an allegory of the dangers of concentrating too much on the physical and the need to pay attention to the inner spirit as well as to outward appearances.

The Wallace Collection

London


Date

1657–c.1662

Medium

oil on oak panel

Measurements

H 19.2 x W 16.6 cm

Accession number

P206

Acquisition method

acquired by Francis Charles Seymour-Conway, 3rd Marquess of Hertford, at an unknown date; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

Work type

Painting


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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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