Critical Analysis of Norman Rockwell's "Girl at Mirror" Analytical Essay by gapmaster

Critical Analysis of Norman Rockwell's "Girl at Mirror"
A critical analysis of Norman Rockwell's painting "Girl at Mirror."
# 129185 | 1,196 words | 2 sources | APA | 2010 | US
Published on Sep 12, 2010 in Art (Artists)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper offers a critical analysis of Norman Rockwell's painting "Girl at Mirror," a popular work by one of the most commercially successful and well known artists and illustrators of the 20th century, Norman Rockwell. Although he was known most commonly as an illustrator, the paper asserts, much of Rockwell's work contains a much deeper artistic meaning; closer examination has revealed that many of his illustrations are actually very well constructed masterpieces containing hidden meanings that show another side to this widely popular artist. In analyzing "Girl at Mirror," the paper points out the portrayal of girlish innocence in contrast with emerging womanhood, and identifies the placement of items as well as the painting's significant textures, lighting, and color. The paper concludes that if people would only take the time to look beyond the first impression of Rockwell's work, they might see that beneath the innocent exterior there is a serious artist with an important and often controversial message.

From the Paper:

"At first glance, "Girl at Mirror" appears to be an innocent portrayal of an adolescent girl behaving as girls of that age often do. It shows a young girl dressed in white and sitting in front of a mirror with a magazine on her lap, trying on make-up and looking at herself in the mirror as all young girls have done. Lying on the floor nearby is the open make-up, a hair brush, and her doll. The mirror is propped up against a chair and the room appears to be dimly lit, suggesting it may be in an attic or similar place. The viewer is first drawn to the girl's face. She has her hair pinned up, lipstick on, and her face resting on her closed hands. The look on her face is young and innocent. Perhaps she is just using the mirror to see how the make-up looks or how she looks with her hair up. Maybe she is just looking through the magazine, daydreaming about being a movie star and trying to imitate the poses. But after looking closer at the expression on her face it also seems as if she might be looking in the mirror for more than just to see how the makeup looks. Her expression seems to show that she is feeling sad, worried, lost, or faced with a difficult decision. She appears to be trying to figure out who she is as she is "poised between childhood and womanhood and her innocence hovers in the balance" (Fuller, 2010, para. 7)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Blackburn, M. (2007, April). Neither simple nor innocent. Johns Hopkins Magazine, 59(2). Retrieved on April 29, 2010, from rockwell.html
  • Fuller, G. (2010, January 24). Norman Rockwell, the American friend. Retrieved on April 29, 2010, from =item&id=837:theartsdesk-in-fort-lauderdale-norman-rockwell&Itemid=23

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Critical Analysis of Norman Rockwell's "Girl at Mirror" (2010, September 12) Retrieved January 28, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Critical Analysis of Norman Rockwell's "Girl at Mirror"" 12 September 2010. Web. 28 January. 2022. <>