The mirror of Venus (Scent)

STEPHEN ROSE (born 1960)

The mirror of Venus (Scent)

2013 United Kingdom

Offered by Mark Mitchell Paintings & Drawings

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Reproduction late 19th C Artist’s double-architrave frame, painted
A vibrantly colourful decorative piece which is almost an abstraction, this painting of a group of scent bottles seems a work of pure representation – a study of surface effects and physical attributes. It trails behind its innocent appearance, however, a long art historical backwash of emblematic objects, which has worn its way so far into the collective consciousness that it can appear out of context and still trigger the same response to its meaning. Here is the toilet of Venus without the need for Venus; an evocation of beauty preparing for conquest, like the School of Fontainebleau painting in the Louvre (c.1550) in which Cupid hands Venus a gold flagon of scent, or Georges Seurat’s Young woman powdering herself (1890, Courtauld Institute), where the handmaiden and Cupid have vanished, leaving Venus alone with her looking-glass and scent bottles. Rose’s picture is a vanitas from which Venus herself has now disappeared; – but it is also a painterly game, in which the artist choreographs reflections, transparency, and the fall and refraction of light.
Height 40.30 cm (15.87 inches)
Width 34.90 cm (13.74 inches)
External Height 57.80 cm (22.76 inches)
External Width 52.70 cm (20.75 inches)
Oil on canvas
'Rose 13'
Mark Mitchell Paintings & Drawings

Mark Mitchell Paintings & Drawings
17 Avery Row
Brook Street

+44 (0)20 7493 8732/0860
+44 (0)7876 033391
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