Artist: Balthus (Balthasar Klossowski) (French, Paris 1908–2001 Rossinière)
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 75 x 64.5 in. (190.5 x 163.8 cm)
Credit Line: Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number: 1975.1.155
Rights and Reproduction: © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
For Balthus, the female sitter was a lifelong subject— whether daydreaming, reclining, or sleeping, often nude or partly clothed, and typically charged with erotic content. Nude Before a Mirror is striking for the sculptural monumentality of the model and the soft, silvery light that bathes the figure and fills the room. The model’s hieratic pose evokes figures in an ancient Egyptian frieze.