Medea and the Hand Mirror
Sixteenth-century Europe saw, with the apogee of humanism, the reactivation of intellectual and creative energies towards classical antiquity, through which the decorative arts flourished. Designs were highly imaginative, with increasingly complicated, fantastical motifs, in which material opulence coexisted with humanist knowledge in the form of historical and mythological themes. A case in point is this design for a hand mirror by Etienne Delaune, one of the finest ornament engravers of all time. Despite this engraving’s small size, the rich ornamental details of the design invite us to take a closer look at this wonderful object.
Beltran-Rubio, Laura. “Medea and the Hand Mirror.” Cooper Hewitt: Object of the Day, 7 June 2017. https://www.cooperhewitt.org/2017/06/07/medea-and-the-hand-mirror/.