Arnolfini Portrait Analysis

Improved Essays
Known by many different names, including Arnolfini Double Portrait and The Arnolfini Marriage, Jan van Eyck painted The Arnolfini Portrait (Figure 1). The portrait is an eighty-two by sixty centimetres oak panel created with oil paints. Though it is not what year van Eyck began this painting, it is dated as complete in 1434.
The Arnolfini Portrait depicts Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini and his wife, Costanza Trenta. In 1861, William Henry James Weale assumed that the Giovanni Arnolfini depicted in the double portrait was the same Giovanni Arnolfini who married Jeanne (Giovanna) Cenami; however, Weale did not account for the fact that Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini had a cousin, by nearly the same name, who also lived in Bruges. It was Giovanni
…show more content…
If a person stood in the portrait’s room and looked in the mirror, the details would not be as clear as van Eyck paints them. Not only are the details of the mirror too clear, the mirror itself is too low on the wall to have much use; however, van Eyck most likely positioned the mirror there for the scene to be reflected back easily. The minuscule details of the portrait are a way for van Eyck to demonstrate his prowess with oil paints. Due to van Eyck’s desire to demonstrate his mastery of the new medium, he often overcompensates and unintentionally creates an unrealistic view. Furthermore, this allows modern art historians a chance to interpret how van Eyck painted Realism. On numerous occasions, van Eyck depicts details that would not be clear in a realistic depiction. These details are where van Eyck’s Realism merges into a more symbolic nature. Though Symbolism does not directly mean an idealised form, it is associated with it. Symbolism and Realism are linked through the idealised form in van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Portrait. Looking at the portrait, the details are much too idealised in their depiction (Figure 1). A prime example of idealisation is the dog (Figure 4). Each individual strand of the dog’s fur is visible, which is idealised, but realistically, the human eye can barely tell the difference of fur up …show more content…
Though the detail work on these specific items is not necessarily over exaggerated, it is more clear than it would be realistically. ‘The abundance of rich furs is perhaps surprising, since the cherries are visible through the open window to indicate that the season is high summer. The furs enabled the couple to show off their wealth,’ this is not at all surprising given the other subtle reminders of the wealth of the couple. It is not necessary for Costanza to be

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    The resemblance between Clemins’s work and a photograph is uncanny, which is why it would be initially perceived as an “actual” scene. Bazin articulates the ability of a photograph to be believed without reserve (8). This ability stems from the perception of realism produced by photography. Despite the fact this maybe true, Bazin fails to highlight the cases when artistic creations do exactly replicate the illusion of reality. Photorealistic images, like Irregular Desert, which is defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary as “realism in painting characterized by extremely meticulous depiction of detail”, it has made it difficult to decipher a photograph from a photo realistic-illustration.…

    • 1235 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Gustave Courbet was a man interested in beauty no matter where he found it while Eugène Delacroix focused more on beauty in war and suffering. Both painters used color to enhance the authenticity of the the people in the images. As well as color, the painters used shadowing and it enhanced the mystery and seriousness of the paintings. Gustave and Eugène both painted pictures of characters that were surrounded by backgrounds that either enhanced them or the scene or the image in the back was blurred to emphasize the unimportance of everything except the characters. Emotion is also evident in both of their paintings.…

    • 1115 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Cézanne also uses dark lines to better define objects in his work whereas Monet hardly defines any objects in his work. Monet seems more focused on the light and the accurate depiction of its changing qualities. The two artists different use of color was not there only difference. Monet liked to use small short brush strokes while Cézanne used large flat brush strokes, but both used impasto. These two techniques produce different effects for example the longer strokes of Cézanne hint at more emotion.…

    • 460 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    my great longing is to make these incorrectness, these deviations, remodellings, changes of reality that they may become, yes, untruth if you like - but more true than the literal truth.” Therefore, since Vincent admitted that he used the memory to paint, we may understand what the spiral patterns in the center of the painting are. According to Whitney, Vincent had the memory of Milky Way and mentioned the blue Milky Way in his letter. Therefore, Whitney declares that although Vincent might didn’t see it because Milky Way wouldn’t appear just before the dawn, but he just painted the Milky Way to achieve his incredible and unreal…

    • 1598 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    “The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim” (Wilde 1). However, on occasion art begins beautiful and then alters negatively. This is the case in both Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and Percival Everett’s Erasure. Although the stories within each are very different in nature, they are interconnected in the way that the work of art within each alters and changes.…

    • 1352 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    His underpainting process was a time consuming event, but the end result brought an intense amount of realism. With several thin, transparent layers of paint followed by his underpainting, he used a glaze technique to help add a sense of depth to the…

    • 1033 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    As well as create and new birth of new inventions in both philosophy and art. Another huge difference is that the Renaissance focuses more on the geometric shape and the vibrant colors, but in Baroque Art, it would still be realistic but also gives emotions to people who are seeing the art. Also having colors to either be very bright or very dark. It was known to be more like Ecclesiastical…

    • 971 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Both paintings have the same subject of Madonna with child but the style is what makes them diverse from one another. Some may say that between the two Giotto’s is better because of the realistic features and use of color in the painting. While others may say Cimabue, because of the size of the painting and how much detail went into the background and architecture. In the end, both paintings are astonishing in their own way, and admired for how uniquely different they are from one…

    • 895 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Leonardo painting was done in the High Renaissance and Tintoretto painting was done in the mannerism style. These painting are different in the media, layout, and depiction of the last supper. These painting were made of different media. Leonardo painting of the Last Supper was painted in the fresco style Oil and tempera paints. The reason why the painting was in such a bad condition because Leonardo tried using experimental techniques on the painting.…

    • 318 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Greyhound Research Paper

    • 1883 Words
    • 8 Pages

    WHATISTHE RECOMMENDED SPACE BETWEEN DOGS COLLAR AND NECK Tightness. When fitting a collar, slip a couple of fingers between it and the dog's neck. A space of less than two fingers means the collar is too tight and can restrict breathing; a collar that's too big could slip off over the dog's head. WHAT IS A GREYHOND COLLAR Greyhounds have heads that are smaller than their necks and can easily slip out of a standard non-martingale dog collar. Martingale Collars are often called Greyhound Collars or Sighthound collars because they are so often seen on greyhounds and sighthounds.…

    • 1883 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays