Dreams of Desire 33 (The Mirror)

Toyen-The Mirror 1967

A delicate and evocative image from Toyen’s later career, this time using the drypoint technique on pale green paper.

In the elaborate mirror with leaf motifs we see the reflection of an ethereal beauty from a bygone age, with her eyes closed, suggestive of sleeping and dreaming. In the background to the immediate left is the silhouette of a man that effects a visual rhyme with the girl’s face. Is she dreaming of the man, or is the shadow another aspect of her personality, her animus? As always with Toyen the more you look, the greater the sense of mystery is affected.

17 thoughts on “Dreams of Desire 33 (The Mirror)

    1. Thank you, I vote animus as well because of the visual rhyme, though it is ambiguous. Obviously I am a huge admirer of her work as I am doing a week of posts. The question is whether I post her explicit erotica? Hmmm

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  1. Mr. Cake, thank you for presenting another stunning Toyen. Lovely, her work is spectacular in that it’s so well thought out, her multiple meanings and interpretations. Beautiful and captivating.
    ~ Miss Cranes

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      1. You’re welcome Mr. Cake, really who would ever tire of great artwork? Her work is incredible. I truly believe that she has a very strong voice, which is revealed in her work. Do you think she has been underrated?

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      2. It’s nice to read that her work is being re-evaluated. “Right reasons”, what are your thoughts? She really should be considered as one of the power-players. Her work is absolutely brilliant. Not only is the work beautiful to look at, the strong statement that each piece makes is impressive, I know I’m repeating myself.

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      3. She certainly is a leading light when it comes to Czech avant-garde. She certainly was a major player when it comes to post war Surrealism, Breton realised this as a lot of big names had either been expelled or had defected. I worry that the re-evaluation is based more on identity politics than the excellence of the work.

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  2. Beautiful. She dreams in front of a mirror… The mirror, the same but opposite. The shadow her animus. The ambiguity her uncertainty. How to resolve the two. Close her eyes and think, imagine, dream…

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