Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror

For the poetry collection, see Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror (book).
Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror
Artist Parmigianino
Year c. 1524
Type Oil on convex panel
Dimensions 24.4 cm diameter (9.6 in)
Location Kunsthistorisches Museum

Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror (c. 1524) is a painting by the Italian late Renaissance artist Parmigianino. It is housed in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.


The work is mentioned by Late Renaissance art biographer Giorgio Vasari, who lists it as one of three small-size paintings that the artist brought to Rome with him in 1525. Vasari relays that the self-portrait was created by Parmigianino as an example to showcase his talent to potential customers.[1]

The portrait was donated to pope Clement VII, and later to writer Pietro Aretino, in whose house Vasari himself, then still a child, saw it. It was later acquired by Vicentine sculptor Valerio Belli and, after his death in 1546, by his son Elio. Through the intercession of Andrea Palladio, in 1560 the work went to Venetian sculptor Alessandro Vittoria, who assigned it in heritage to emperor Rudolf II. It arrived in Prague in 1608, and later it become part of the Habsburg imperial collections in Vienna (1777), although attributed to Correggio.


The painting depicts the young artist (then twenty one) in the middle of a room, distorted by the use of a convex mirror. The hand in the foreground is greatly elongated and distorted by the mirror. The work was painted on a specially-prepared convex panel in order to mimic the curve of the mirror used.

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