James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s 1860–1861 Harmony in Green and Rose initially seems to be rather definite (and even a bit ordinary) by comparison to his usual evocative paintings.
However, the two women—who may conceivably be looking at each other—have their gaze disrupted by the mirror. To the viewer, they each appear to stare into the distance.
And, as the Freer and Sackler Galleries point out, “[a] number of formal peculiarities underscore the atmosphere of psychological distance: the perspectival grid formed by architectural and decorative elements in the room refuses to line up properly; the tilting floor and the strange angle of image in the mirror further disrupt the illusion of three-dimensional space.”
But, like most Whistler paintings, the whole composition is tied together by its unified palette.