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The artist makes us feel like an intruder in this painting as we witness the private world of a young girl. Dressed in a nightgown and gently brushing her long hair, she sits before a full length mirror studying her reflection. A parrot  watches the mechanical repetition of her brush strokes.

The small size of the painting draws our attention to the intimacy of the scene that Tonks has captured, a moment in the girl’s childhood which adult viewers may regard with sadness or even envy.

September 2004