Četvrtak, 14 Oktobar 2021 11:03

The Arnolfini Wedding by Jan van Eyck is an enigmatic double portrait Istaknut

One of the great paintings of the Netherlandish Renaissance, The Arnolfini Wedding, also known as The Arnolfini Marriage, Arnolfini's Double Portrait or The Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife, made Jan van Eyck in 1434. It is considered one of the most original and complex paintings in Western art, because of its beauty, enigmatic, complex iconography, geometric orthogonal perspective, and expansion of the picture space with the use of a mirror. The painting is now in the National Gallery in London.

The painting The Arnolfini Wedding is a formal picture of a wealthy couple holding hands in the bedchamber of their Flemish home. It is believed to depict the Italian merchant Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini and his wife, Constance Trenta, the daughter of an Italian merchant at their home in the Flemish city of Bruges.

The painting The Arnolfini Wedding shows a young couple who stands in a beautifully furnished room, with a window behind him and a bed behind her. The male figure's loose grasp on the woman's slipping hand. The couple is dressed in very luxurious clothes, that place them among the wealthy citizens of Bruges. The man with a big black hat dressed in a black cape trimmed in fur, and also he wears a silver ring. The woman wears a green velvet gown lined with fur that contains large folds, pleats, and dagging of fabric with a blue underdress layered beneath, and a white plaited straw cap. Her's richly pleated dress was fashionable at the time, so it cannot be concluded whether the woman is pregnant. She is also wearing jewelry including a gold necklace, ring, and bracelet. The light that enters through the window on the left and illuminates the wall behind them so that the space in the painting can be convincingly seen. The cherry tree with fruits that can see through the window indicates spring. The room itself reveals many symbols of wealth, such as a sumptuous chandelier with candles, the stained glass window, wood carvings on chairs and benches in the background, the elaborate wood carvings of the bed, ornate mirror, intricately woven rug, a small expensive dog, a few highly expensive oranges on the chest beneath the window or red shoes tossed off in the back and foreground.

Although the pair on the painting The Arnolfini Wedding seem to be completely alone, in the convex mirror with the wooden frame decorated with miniature medallions illustrating the Crucifixion and other stories from the Passion of Christ that is placed in a visible place behind them, two figures can be seen entering the room. These figures could be witnesses to the wedding ceremony. One of them, dressed in red, is probably Jan van Eyck himself, since the words above the mirror, written in ornate letters, say that "Johannes de Eyck fuit hic" (Jan van Eyck was here), and the date, 1434.

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