Artwork of the Week: March 17, 2019
Richard Emile Miller (1875-1943), Reflections, c.1910, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of A. Merlin Steed and Alice W. Steed Collection.
Born on March 22, 1875, Richard Emile Miller is an American Impressionist known for his paintings of women in leisurely poses and domestic settings. This sparkling image of a woman lounging at her dressing table is typical of Miller’s decorative impressionism, as is the soft backlighting from the window. Does the title refer to the model’s state of mind or the reflective qualities of the mirror? Her apparent listlessness as she fingers a bowl of flowers suggests the latter. The woman neither looks at the viewer nor contemplates herself in the mirror, thus becoming reduced to an object of beauty offered for the visual pleasure of the viewer.