Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Bronze mirror with a support in the form of a draped woman

mid-5th century B.C.
H. 12 5/8", Diameter 5 3/8"
Credit Line:
Gift of the family of Thomas A. Spears, in his memory, 2011
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 157
The ancient Greeks used mirrors that were held in the hand or stood independently. This free-standing example of a well established type consists of a base, a supporting figure, and the mirror disk embellished with additional figures around its periphery. The woman, who is probably mortal, wears a woolen garment, a peplos. Above her fly two personifications of love, erotes; originally hounds and hares would have coursed around the disk and a sphinx or siren would have perched on top. The variety of component parts are integrated into a whole that is both balanced and dynamic.
[Prior to 1990, reportedly with Heidi Vollmoeller, Galerie Heidi Vollmoeller, Zurich, Switzerland]; purchased by Athanasios Ghertsos, Greek Consul in Zurich, from Galerie Heidi Vollmoeller; ca. 1990, purchased by Frieda Tchacos Nussberger from Athanasios Ghertsos; [ca. 1990-1993, with Frieda Tchacos Nussberger, Gallerie Nefer, Zurich]; 1993, purchased by Thomas A. and Colette Spears from Frieda Tchacos Nussberger; 1993-2011, collection of Thomas A. and Colette Spears, New York; from 1999, on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art; acquired in 2011, gift of the family of Thomas A. Spears.
Picón, Carlos A., Joan R. Mertens, Christopher S. Lightfoot, Dr. Seán Hemingway, and Kyriaki Karoglou. 2012. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection 2010–2012." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 70(2): p. 10.

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