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About the work

curationist logoCurationist Object Description
A woman contemplates her image in a mirror. She holds a painter's palette and a brush. A cherub holds the mirror, indicating this is not an image of a real painter, but rather an allegory of art itself. Drawing on Cesare Ripa's illustrated Iconologia, Corvi portrays painting as a “beautiful woman, with full black hair" and a mask.

Walters Art Museum Object Description

This young woman with her palette and brushes is not seriously engaged in painting. Contemplating her reflection in a mirror held by a winged cupid, she is a personification of the self-conscious beauty that was then the goal of art. A mask attached to her headdress with a golden chain symbolizes the potentially misleading view of reality that art can convey even when appearing to imitate nature. Corvi's buoyant, cheerful forms are close to those of French rococo art of the period. For more information on this painting, please see Federico Zeri's 1976 catalogue no. 426, pp. 536-537.

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