The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1959
Not on view
Burne-Jones painted this subject for Grosvenor Gallery’s first exhibition, in 1877 (Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon), and his composition encapsulates the emerging Aesthetic style. Specific narrative is avoided, and the sweetly elegant girls—whose faces and forms pay tribute to Sandro Botticelli—convey a mood of dreamy melancholy. Gathered before a strange barren landscape, the maidens are entranced by a reflective pool—the mirror of the title—and in a lovely visual conceit, the flowered lawn in the foreground crowns their reflected heads. Etched with great delicacy by the French-trained, Polish-born Jaskinski, the print was published in London and Berlin, testifying to Burne-Jones’s international appeal.
Signature: signed in graphite lower left: "Edward Burne-Jones"; lower right: "F. Jasinski"
Inscription: in plate: "Copyright 1896 by Mess-rs. Arthur Tooth & Sons, Publishers, 5 & 6 Haymarket, London, & 295 Fifth Avenue, New York, The Fine Art Society, 148 New Bond Street, London and Mess-rs. Stiefbold & Co. Berlin. Printed by Mess-rs. A. Salmon & Ardail, Paris."
Marking: Stamped, lower left, with the Printsellers' Association mark (Lugt 2051) and the letters 'AW'
Vendor: Argosy Book Shop
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 29, 2014–July 14, 2014.
Hartnoll et al. 1988, no. 10, pp. 18, 56
Julian Hartnoll, John Christian, Christopher Newall The Reproductive Engravings after Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones. 1988, cat. no. 10, fig. no. pl. 2, pp. 12, 18-19, 56, ill.
Rodney K. Engen Pre-Raphaelite Prints: The Graphic Art of Millais, Holman Hunt, Rossetti and their Followers. Lund Humphries, 1995, fig. no. 49, p. 76, ill.