Woman with a Mirror
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
It is known to have been in the Gonzaga family's collection in Mantua from which it was bought by Charles I of England. After Charles' execution it was sold off and purchased by Louis XIV of France for the Palace of Versailles.
Several attempts have been made to identify the main female figure – these have included Titian's lover, Alfonso d'Este's lover Laura Dianti, or Federico Gonzaga's lover Isabella Boschetti. None of these theories fit the date ascribed to the painting through analysis of its style, which is 1512–15, when the courts of Mantua and Ferrara were first becoming interested in Titian. Dianti was painted by Titian in a portrait of 1523. She is probably just a model who appears in other paintings – the same woman with frizzy blonde hair appears in a series of paintings from around the same time (including the Flora at the Uffizi, the Vanity in Munich, the Salome in the Galleria Doria Pamphilj, the Violante and the Young woman in a black dress in Vienna) as well as several Madonnas and the clothed figure in Sacred and Profane Love. As happened with the 'Bella' series, it was still customary for the artist's workshop to create similar works with variations from the same studies if not from the same cartoon.
Many versions of the work are known, equal in quality to the original but not as large. The best are in Museu in Barcelona, in the gallery of Prague Castle and in the National Gallery of Art in Washington.