The Body as a Mirror in Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Philosophy of Painting

Variant title

Der Körper als Spiegel in der Philosophie der Malerei von Maurice Merleau-Ponty 


The article is an attempt to explore the ontological implications of Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s concept of the body (Körper) as a particular mirror in which the world comes to existence. For the author of Visible and Invisible this is the point of departure to work out the concept of painting as an act that has its roots in the experience of the painter's own body as a mirror that is redoubled in itself. According to Merleau-Ponty, the painter experiences his own body as one that looks and at the same time is looked at, and this allows him to experience intensively his prior connection with that what is seen (das Sichtbare). In this concept the body does not play the role of mirror as an additional medium that has been placed against the world and whose plane reflects the image of things. The body is rather the mirror that is redoubled in itself, a mirror in which the visible comes into being.




German (de)


Paweł DybelUniversity of Warsaw / Polish Academy of Sciences


Orbis Idearum Volume 1, Issue 1 (2013), pp. 83–96
Appearance, Reality, and Beyond