Analysis Of Jan Van Eyck 's ' The Wedding Portrait ' Essay

1194 Words Oct 10th, 2016 5 Pages
Jan Van Eyck began his career as an artist in 1422 and continued until his death in 1441. While Van Eyck was active, he created many well-known paintings. According to John Haber, Van Eyck was a portraitist who was the first to paint in oils (pg.1). One of his most famous works is Wedding Portrait, or Giovanni Arnolfini and His Bride. This painting depicts a man and a woman holding hands in matrimony with many symbolic objects surrounding them. The painting was created in 1434 and currently resides at the National Gallery in London. Haber states that The Wedding Portrait, “confront us with a reconstruction rather than a mere representation of the visible world” (pg.1). Haber’s quote shows how that The Wedding Portrait has a complex meaning. This makes the painting unique, because there are countless meanings that may not be visible to the naked eye. Jan Van Eyck’s painting can best be understood by his use of elements, composition, and symbols. Jan Van Eyck uses local colors, neutral colors, and intensity to bring visual representation to Wedding Portrait. The local colors can be found in the bride’s green dress, her blue undershirt, and the red curtains. These objects have the colors you would “normally find” in similar objects. According to Exploring Art by Margaret Lazzari and Dona Schlesier, “Neutral colors are very low-intensity colors such as cream, tan, and beige” (28). This means the neutral colors in the painting are: the skin of Giovanni Arnolfini and his bride,…

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