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A Bar at the Folies-Bergère

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Mirrors: The Place of Realism

"Realism has its fascination and its justification: it would be presumptuous to exclude it from art. One must, however, be clear about its rightful place. And it is precisely the mirror that raises this question: to look in a painting solely for the reproduction of the object it represents is like mistaking the ephemeral image in the mirror for the mirror itself. The mirror as such, with its substance and qualities, is not the deceptive image it reflects. It is not this face, these flowers whose forms strike its surface and rebound into our eyes. The mirror exists behind this semblance, behind the phenomenon of reflection of which it is merely the vehicle."

Rene Hughe, Beyond Natural Appearance, Discovery of Art, Thames and Hudson, 1959

Looking forward and seeing backwards
Mirrors: Las Meninas
Mirrors: Illogical Geometry

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The Arnolfini Portrait

Van Eyck (National Gallery, London)

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The Rokeby Venus, 1648-51

Velázquez (National Gallery, London)

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