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Pieter Codde, A Woman holding a Mirror

Key facts
Full title A Woman holding a Mirror
Artist Pieter Codde
Artist dates 1599 - 1678
Date made 1625
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 38.1 × 33.7 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2584
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
A Woman holding a Mirror
Pieter Codde

Pieter Codde was an Amsterdam painter who specialised in genre scenes of everyday life. And this is just how A Woman Holding a Mirror of 1625, his earliest known work, can be seen. An attractive and well-dressed woman has tried on various outfits – a discarded dress lies on the table – and is now checking her appearance. In looking out at the viewer she invites us to approve of her choice.

Around this central scene Codde has added little distractions for the eye, such as a flash of her gown’s red lining, a cat by her feet staring at an unsuspecting mouse, and paintings on the wall that are pictures within the picture. Codde was also a portraitist so the woman may perhaps be based on a real person. But whoever she was, it is a pleasure to observe her as she goes about her daily routine.

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