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Woman before the Mirror

A work made of oil on board.

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  • A work made of oil on board.




Ellen Emmet Rand
American, 1875–1941

About this artwork

Ellen Emmet Rand worked principally as a portraitist. Yet Woman before the Mirror is instead a dynamic figure study, showcasing her assured brushwork and vibrant palette. Executed in 1925, the painting demonstrates the artist’s interest in elements both old and new: The figure wears 19th-century dress, which Rand rendered in a painterly realism inspired by Spanish Baroque artist Diego Velázquez. The woman’s intense gaze in reflection, however, suggests an assertive self-presentation that is decidedly modern. A trailblazer herself, Rand trained at the Art Students League in New York and then with American sculptor and painter Frederick MacMonnies in Paris in the 1890s. She supported her family with her art from her student years onward, receiving considerable acclaim in her day as a female professional.


On View, Gallery 178


Arts of the Americas


Ellen Emmet Rand


Woman before the Mirror


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on board


Signed and dated, upper right: Ellen Emmet Rand / 1925


70.8 × 54.6 cm (27 7/8 × 21 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Mr. and Mrs. Frederick G. Wacker Jr. Endowment Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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