Naked Young Woman in Front of the Mirror  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Naked Young Woman in Front of the Mirror[1], Giovanni Bellini's first female nude, painted when he was about 85 years old, circa 1515.

In this Renaissance work, there is the presence of a mirror, an object that is usually symbolic and which suggests an allegory. The young lady's nakedness is a sign not so much of seduction, as innocence and vulnerability. However, she decks herself out in an extremely rich headdress, stitched with pearls, and having not one, but two mirrors, sees only herself reflected endlessly. The mirror, often a symbol of prophecy, here becomes an object of vanity, with the young woman in the role of Narcissus.

Oil on canvas, 62 x 79 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

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