Diane Lesko cites Hieronymous Bosch’s Pride, from The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things (Museo del Prado, Madrid) as a possible source for this subject (D. Lesko, James Ensor - The Creative Years, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, p. 109). In Bosch’s panel a woman is shown admiring herself in a mirror which is held by a devil hiding behind a sideboard. Ensor’s skeleton seems less intent on subterfuge, leaping out from behind the wardrobe to terrify the boy. Ensor used props from the Rousseau house at 20, rue Vautier - a Frisian wardrobe and a real skeleton nicknamed Aglaé by the family. The Mira Jacob collection includes the present rare first-state impression, before the shading of the mirror and the addition of the mask on the coat of the boy, as well as an impression of the third, final state (see lot 21).