Subota, 09 Oktobar 2021 10:57

Van Eyck's Arnolfini Double Portrait and Velázquez's Las Meninas Istaknut

Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini Double Portrait, also known as The Arnolfini Wedding, The Arnolfini Marriage, or the Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his wife, and Diego Velázquez's group portrait Las Meninas overshadowed the time gap of two centuries, variations in style techniques, and art period influences of the two artists. Upon first glance, Arnolfini Double Portrait made in 1434 and Las Meninas made in 1656 do not look similar and are likely to vary from one another. But, more similarities than differences are evident between Arnolfini Double Portrait and Diego Velázquez's Las Meninas.

With two centuries separating Jan van Eyck and Diego Velázquez, the primary differences between the two artists are time, location, and influence of their own specific lives. Van Eyck was located in the Netherlands, which gave him a different perspective on painting than Velázquez had in Spain. Wealthy and religious patrons commonly commissioned Van Eyck for portraits while Velázquez regularly painted daily, typical royal court life. These artists created artwork in distinct periods. Arnolfini Double Portrait was painted during the middle of the Renaissance when naturalism was highly favored in art. In this naturalistic view, he painted what he saw in a lifelike manner and his subjects are stiff in posture and clearly posed, brightly colored, physiologically accurate, their faces are detailed with shadow, which depicts structure. Velázquez painted during the Baroque era of art and his painting is more expressive than Van Eyck's and has muted colors that depicted the royal Spanish Court, and precise positioning to convey a message that having a high social status is very crucial.

Arnolfini Double Portrait and Las Meninas have many similarities including foreground composition of the subjects in the paintings, mirror reflections, and background references allusions. The foreground holds a different amount of individuals, but both of the paintings' subjects are facing forward as if acknowledging the viewer's presence. The mirror near the center of the composition has an important role in both of the paintings. In Arnolfini Double Portrait, Van Eyck and the couple's witnesses to their marriage are visible in the mirror's reflection. This effect makes it so that the audience is directly facing the subjects and appear to be looking at themselves in the mirror. The mirror's reflection in Las Meninas, implies the presence of the King and Queen of Spain before the canvas, in the space of the viewer, but also of Velázquez as he painted this work.

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