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Black Mirror


My curiosity spiked when I saw a rectangular object in Matisse’s “Blue Window” painting at the BMA’s Matisse/Diebenkorn show. I learned that Matisse used a dark tinted mirror in the process of many of his paintings. These “Black Mirrors” even out tonal values so brightly lit areas of landscape aren’t confusing to the eye. Additionally they eliminate a lot of detail so you see flattened masses that can aid artistic composition. You can see the effect looking at reflections in the dark screen of an iPhone.