Mirror  

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A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, painted and exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1882, was the last major work by French painter Édouard Manet before he died. It depicts a scene in the Folies Bergère nightclub in Paris, depicting a bar-girl, one of the demimondaine, standing before a mirror.
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A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, painted and exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1882, was the last major work by French painter Édouard Manet before he died. It depicts a scene in the Folies Bergère nightclub in Paris, depicting a bar-girl, one of the demimondaine, standing before a mirror.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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A mirror is an object that reflects light or sound in a way that preserves much of its original quality subsequent to its contact with the mirror. Some mirrors also filter out some wavelengths, while preserving other wavelengths in the reflection. This is different from other light-reflecting objects that do not preserve much of the original wave signal other than color and diffuse reflected light. The most familiar type of mirror is the plane mirror, which has a flat surface. Curved mirrors are also used, to produce magnified or diminished images or focus light or simply distort the reflected image.

Mirrors are commonly used for personal grooming or admiring oneself (in which case the archaic term looking-glass is sometimes still used), decoration, and architecture. Mirrors are also used in scientific apparatus such as telescopes and lasers, cameras, and industrial machinery. Most mirrors are designed for visible light; however, mirrors designed for other types of waves or other wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation are also used, especially in non-optical instruments.

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Art

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Mirrors_in_paintings
Paintings
vanitas

Painters depicting someone gazing into a mirror often also show the person's reflection. This is a kind of abstraction—in most cases the angle of view is such that the person's reflection should not be visible. Similarly, in movies and still photography an actor or actress is often shown obstensibly looking at him- or herself in the mirror, and yet the reflection faces the camera. In reality, the actor or actress sees only the camera and its operator in this case, not his own reflection.

The mirror is the central device in some of the greatest of European paintings:

Mirrors have been used by artists to create works and hone their craft:

  • Filippo Brunelleschi discovered linear perspective with the help of the mirror.
  • Leonardo da Vinci called the mirror the "master of painters". He recommended, "When you wish to see whether your whole picture accords with what you have portrayed from nature take a mirror and reflect the actual object in it. Compare what is reflected with your painting and carefully consider whether both likenesses of the subject correspond, particularly in regard to the mirror."
  • Many self-portraits are made possible through the use of mirrors:

Mirrors are sometimes necessary to fully appreciate art work:

  • István Orosz's anamorphic works are images distorted such that they only become clearly visible when reflected in a suitably shaped and positioned mirror.
Other artistic mediums

Some other contemporary artists use mirrors as the material of art:

Decoration

Mirrors are frequently used in interior decoration and as ornaments:

  • Mirrors, typically large and unframed, are frequently used in interior decoration to create an illusion of space and amplify the apparent size of a room. They come also framed in a variety of forms, such as the pier glass and the overmantle mirror.
  • Mirrors are used also in some schools of feng shui, an ancient Chinese practice of placement and arrangement of space, to achieve harmony with the environment.
  • The softness of old mirrors is sometimes replicated by contemporary artisans for use in interior design. These reproduction antiqued mirrors are works of art and can bring color and texture to an otherwise hard, cold reflective surface. It is an artistic process that has been attempted by many and perfected by few.
  • A decorative reflecting sphere of thin metal-coated glass, working as a reducing wide-angle mirror, is sold as a Christmas ornament called a bauble.

Entertainment

  • Illuminated rotating disco balls covered with small mirrors are used to cast moving spots of light around a dance floor.
  • The hall of mirrors, commonly found in amusement parks, is an attraction in which a number of distorted mirrors are used to produce unusual reflections of the visitor.
  • Mirrors are employed in kaleidoscopes, personal entertainment devices invented in Scotland by Sir David Brewster.
  • Mirrors are often used in magic to create an illusion. One effect is called Pepper's ghost.
  • Mirror mazes, often found in amusement parks as well, contain large numbers of mirrors and sheets of glass. The idea is to navigate the disorientating array without bumping into the walls. Mirrors in attractions like this are often made of plexiglass as to assure that they do not break.

Film and television

Literature

Mirrors play a powerful role in cultural literature.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Mirror" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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