A Couple with a Mirror

circa 1595/1600, Artist: Hans von Aachen



A Couple with a Mirror

In this virtuoso composition the subject of male desire is not cloaked in mythology but rendered as a genre scene. The sexual connotation of the captive parrot suggests that the artist may have decided to set the scene in a brothel. However, the protagonist is clearly a self-portrait of the artist, giving the composition an ironical rather than a moralizing-judgemental sub-context. Hans von Aachen became court painter to Emperor Rudolf II in 1592, following in the footsteps of his younger fellow-artist Heintz, with whom he had already socialized during his extended Italian sojourn.

Currently not displayed.

Object data

Object Name





circa 1595/1600


Hans von Aachen (1552 Köln - 1615 Prag) - GND




Overall: 25,4 cm × 20 cm × 1,4 cm
Framed: 36,3 cm × 30,4 cm × 4 cm

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie

Inv. No.

Gemäldegalerie, 1155


Probably from the collection of Emperor Rudolf II; 1621 in Prague; 1781 in Vienna in the gallery


Hans von Aachen (1552 Köln - 1615 Prag) - GND

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