That's my boy!

For Rembrandt to paint his many self-portraits he had to look into a mirror. A mirror reverses one's image and if one does not have a symmetrical face (and most people don't) then the mirror image will not look like the person. Rembrandt's mother failed to recognise his mirror image.

However, when Rembrandt painted himself at the easel he had to use two mirrors. The one behind him reversed his image but the mirror in front of him, the one he looked into, reversed it back again and therefore what he drew was a true picture of what he really looked like sitting at the easel. His mother had seen him seated just so many times and so she instantly recognised him from the back!

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