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The Use Of Mirrors In 16th Century Paintings

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The figures in their paintings looked sculptural and had exaggerated gestures. Te scenes were often dramatic or had a highly evocative quality about them (Bousquet 26). Snce a great deal of interest had been revived in sculptor in that era, te painters strove to confer upon their paintings sculptor-like characteristics. Snce a painting was created on a flat surface, i was impossible to view it from all angles and therefore equally impossible to admire and appreciate to the fullest the exquisiteness of human form. Fr this purpose, smetimes painters their paintings with a mirror so that the entire human form could be seen and admired.

I is believed that Giorgione once painted a nude figure seen from the rear. A the feet of this figure was a pool of water which reflected the figures front; te polished metal of a breast plate of a suit of armor gave a lateral view of the figure, wile on the left side, amirror allowed one to see the other flank. Tis painting by Giorgione is lost (Bousquet 97). Aother noteworthy peculiarity the mannerists was that they delighted in painting optical puzzles.

Aamorphosis gained popularity in that era. Aamorphosis is that particular style of drawing in which the piece of art appears distorted until it is viewed by the observer at a particular angle or by means of a special lens. Smetimes whole scenes and landscapes were embedded in these picture puzzles (Chilvers 14, Busquet 155). Aclassic example of such a work will be Parmigianino’s Self Portrait done in the year 1434. Fr this painting, h placed a convex mirror in and painted exactly what he saw.

T lend an added air of authenticity to the image, Prmigianino especially constructed a wooden sphere and cut it in half in exact accordance to the dimensions of the convex mirror. A a result, Prmigianino’s hand appears disproportionately, amost grotesquely large, a it is placed near the mirror. Te window and ceiling in the background appear in a dome-like shape. Tis work of Parmigianino has intrigued art critics for quite some time. Fr some, tis particular creation of Parmigianino appears to be mocking earlier renaissance handling of space and seems to be making a defiant statement about the bold and eccentric mannerist style (Bousquet 115).

T really understand the painting, oe must first and foremost. ..

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