Bonnard's muse: Marthe through the looking glass
Lentz, Mary G.
Camfield, William A.
Master of Arts
The subject of this thesis is Bonnard's use of the mirror theme in his paintings and its development as a significant device in the depiction of the artist's wife at her toilette. Beginning with a brief description of the background of the mirror image as a theme in the history of art, the thesis introduces Bonnard in the context of the late nineteenth century. The various chapters then proceed to describe the gradual transition from the early use of the mirror in experiments with its innovative possibilities as a pictorial device, to its significant position as an expressive device in some of Bonnard's late paintings. It closes with the artist's self-portraits, and a summary conclusion. Other characteristics such as reduction of space, ambiguous arrangements, and severe cropping of the reflected image are also reviewed.