|In the Studio, Alfred Stevens. 1888. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City|
"In the Studio," is a nice example of art playing on art and reality. Notice the model sits on a couch entertaining visitors to the artist's studio. The unfinished painting of Salomé is perched on the easel to the right. The piece plays on the viewers perception of reality. Is the model posing for the work or is the representation of the unfinished work the work? Where does art end and reality begin? Works of art adorn the wall, as well. Notice the mirror. Another nod by Stevens of the mimetic nature of art. Does art imitate life or does life imitate art? The piece becomes more than a mise-en-scène of the artist's studio, but is a representation of the mimesis itself, the artist's craft, and the effect art has on the viewer viewing an artist's work, as if Stevens is inviting us to view both the process of art and the art itself as art. Brilliant.
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