Marie Therese Walter was frequently used by Picasso as a portrait model throughout the 1930s. This artwork is the best known of all those in which she was used.
Marie Therese Walter made a significant impact on Picasso's life and work. This painting displays jewel-like colours and clear, sharpened forms which lift this portrait into something impactful and memorable.
Picasso was predominantly working in a cubist style during this period of his life, and would have received and given inspiration to other members of this movement at that time.
Walter was to model throughout the 1930s for Picasso and was called on frequently. Throughout his life Picasso depicted his preferred muses in his art, be it sketches, paintings or sculpture.
Notably Juan Gris and Georges Braque were closely connected to Picasso's Cubist art.
The artist uses a complex, eye catching background in this painting which clearly contrasts to portraits like Blue Nude and The Old Guitarist where the focal point was entirely the subject.
Some have placed this painting under the umbrella of Modernism. This group included several of the art movements in which Picasso was involved over the course of his extended career.
Girl Before Mirror, itself, was painted in March 1932 but the Modernists span a long period both before and after the 1930s. One such prominent member was Georgia O'Keeffe, with abstract flower paintings like Jimson Weed and Oriental Poppies.
An augmented reality with abstract shapes and lines formed much of the styles found within this group of movements. It's role was critical in the development of modern art and Picasso was a significant influence with in it.
The purpose of Girl Before Mirror has been much discussed. In all likelihood it serves as a comparison between how a woman views herself, and how she is seen by everyone else.
The original painting can now be viewed at the MoMA in New York, US. It is amongst the finest artworks in the huge collection of this international art insitution.
MoMA host a good number of Picasso work besides just this, covering both oil paintings as well as sculpture. Some of the more notable pieces will occasionally be lent to other locations around the world, so it is well worth checking first if you are visiting to see specific artwork.
This painting was featured in a prominent Tate Modern exhibition in London alongside other significant artworks from 1932 including Le Rêve and Nude Woman in a Red Armchair.