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3 avril 2012 2 03 /04 /avril /2012 18:00

Voici une proposition de commentaire de la peinture de Norman Rockwell proposée ici

rockwell mirror

Girl at mirror (1954)


The document is a painting by Norman Rockwell. He was an American painter and illustrator, he created a lot of cover illustrations of everyday life scenes. This painting was used for The Saturday Evening Post magazine.

This work is called "Girl At Mirror" and depicts a very simple scene: a girl looking at herself a large mirror.


The mirror is the center of the painting, it is in the image but also is the image itself. It lets us see what is hidden, giving birth to light and reflection. Thanks to this reflection, we can see the girl's face, imagine her thoughts and almost enter in a story within a story.

The large mirror is not on a wall but on the floor, supported by a chair. We can imagine the girl was not able to see herself entirely and ask someone to put it there, maybe in order to play or dance.

In the painting, we can see the back of the girl, sat on a wooden stool, wearing a white petticoat and looking at herself in the mirror, her hands touching her face. She looks rather sad and anxious, probably wondering about childhood and feminity.

Because everything in this picture reveals an opposition between being a girl and being a woman: For the girl, we can see a doll (upside down, probably rejected, not even entirely shown in the picture and not seen in the mirror); For the woman, we see make-up, a brush and a comb (lying on the floor next to the little girl's feet, probably used for playing and breading her long brown hair) but also a magazine on her lap, showing a glamourous actress (the girl is probably comparing her childish face to the face of the Holywood star - Jane Russell). The girl seems to rebel against childhood, eager to be a full-grown woman.

Even coulours are in opposition. The colours used are dark and brown, except for the girl who is like a soft white light. The child is pure but the world around her is dark, gloomy, warm and indecent. 


To conclude, I think that Norman Rockwell used the mirror, not as an accessory but as a revealing centerpiece. It reflects reality but also make the girl reflect/think about herself. I also particularly like the use of the abandonned doll, in a strange position, as if it had been thrown away after a fight, even neglected by the painter who deliberately chose to cut her head... 


rockwell mirror photo


If i have to compare the picture to the painting, i would like to focus on the highly ressemblance of the girl. I must say I found the painted girl sweeter than the real girl in the photograph. I like to imagine the hours spent by the painter, trying to recreate, embellish and make her live again, through his art. He added some details, revelant to the study of the scene, and took of the woman in the foreground, useless for the story he'd like to tell us. 

I like abstract art but i confess some realistic paintings, like Norman Rockwell's illustrations are a top pick for me.



Cliquez ici vous désirez en savoir plus sur Norman Rockwell and link


Did you enjoy this explanation? I hope you would use it wisely, avoiding copy-paste without asking me :) 

If you find any mistakes in my essay, please feel free to contact me!

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