The life span of Derrière le Miroir is 35 years wide. Publication of the periodical took off in 1946. Aimé Maeght, initiator of Derrière le Miroir, had already made few attempts to start a magazine illustrated with fine printed lithographs in colours in the years prior to the launch of Derrière le Miroir, which name was found by Jacques Kober, manager of the Galerie Maeght. The gallery opened in 1945; the first number of Derrière le Miroir was released a year later. For this first issue Geer van Velde was invited to create litographs to illustrate the magazine. These were printed by Mourlot. The text was printed at a seperate printworks.
The first three issues of Derrière le Miroir were rather desastrous for Maeght as far as the edition size is concerned. The initial printruns proved to be by far too large. From 30.000 for the first issue the number was taken down to 10.000 for numbers two and three, untill Derrière le Miroir no. 4 was published in an edition of 1500. The unsold copies were used for the fabrication of new paper for the coming editions.
With number 4 the format for Derrière le Miroir was found. Lithographs in colours were key; text was limited to comments on the featuring artist's exhibition taking place in the Galerie Maeght.
This catalogue format was defining Derrière le Miroir for many years. Galerie Maeght took on the leading role in Paris and presented all main artists like Braque, Matisse, Ghagall, Léger, Bonnard, Chillida and many more. So did Derrière le Miroir.
The idea of a magazine was meanwhile still on the mind of Aimé Maeght. He found an insert as a solution. Two, and later four, pages of art review were inserted from 1952 onwards. In 1968 this find had ripened to independency and the dream of Aimé Maeght was now a tangible fact named l'Art vivant.
Derrière le Miroir was on it's own again. Over 250 issues in a row.
At this point publisher Aimé Maeght wished to make a mark with the publication of an hommage to all who once contributed to the magazine. This issue number 250 was delayed by the death of Aimé Maeght. It was published after number 253 in 1982 and became a tribute to Aimé and Marguérite Maeght and 35 years of friendship with artists and poets. The era of Derrière le Miroir was closed with this final publication.