Ponedeljak, 18 Oktobar 2021 11:02

The Arnolfini Wedding by Jan van Eyck reveals the inner meaning of a true marriage Istaknut

The Arnolfini Wedding (detail) The Arnolfini Wedding (detail)

Double portrait The Arnolfini Wedding is considered to be a painted pictorial wedding certificate from 1434. It is believed that the scene shown is a private wedding ceremony, which celebrates married life, or a close relationship between the couple. Very little is known about the couple in the painting. Most probably, it is Giovanni di Nicolao of Arnolfini, who would have been around 34 years of age in 1434. He was a merchant from Lucca, a city in Tuscany, Italy, who spent most of his life in Flanders, then part of the Duchy of Burgundy, probably based in a wealthy trading city Bruges. The woman is most likely his second wife Constance Trenta. Giovanni and Constance had no children, and Constance died a year before the portrait was painted, in 1433.

The painting The Arnolfini Wedding probably resembles a wedding or an agreement of marriage of some sort. In the 15th century, Jan van Eyck ingeniously incorporates many everyday items that symbolize a marriage ceremony. Each item is placed naturally and has a meaning that adds to the idea of what this marriage is.

In line with the mirror, in the center of the painting, The Arnolfini Wedding is the couple holding hands that represent the unity of the couple through marriage. The prayer beads are a gift from the groom and represent purity in the marriage. The couple has removed shoes in acknowledgment of the sanctity of the bedchamber, transforming it into a sacred place. Meanwhile, the marriage bed with its bright red curtains evokes the physical act of love which, according to Christian doctrine, is an essential part of the perfect union of man and wife. Through the window, a cherry tree is probably a symbol of love.

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