The Biblical Scenes Of Jan Van Eyck Himself Essay

1059 Words Nov 13th, 2015 5 Pages
Standing alone in a case in the middle of an upper level gallery room, one will find a humbly sized diptych, which vibrantly grabs the attention of anyone who passes it. To a knowing viewer, it becomes almost immediately evident that this is the work of none other than Jan van Eyck himself. This piece juxtaposes two biblical scenes commonly depicted by Renaissance artists, but with a Netherlandish attention to detail, as well as other formal elements endemic to van Eyck’s style. These components include an emphasis on highly saturated colors, a strong use of spatial elements, and highly realistic physical renderings of the subjects depicted.
In order to be able to aptly formally analyze this particular work, one must first be familiarized with some background information regarding the two biblical scenes represented in the diptych. The first scene shown is that of the Crucifixion. The crucifixion of Christ, the Son of God, took place (according to the gospel of Mark) from 9 am to 3 pm in the first century AD in Calvary; this information becomes relevant to the painting later on. It is also important to mention that Jesus was crucified between two thieves. In the second painting, one sees imagery of the Last Judgment. The Last Judgment, as portrayed in the bible, is an apocalyptic scene in which each soul who inhabits the earth is judged and either saved or damned. Jan van Eyck’s decision to place these two scenes side by side forces the viewer to think about the severity of…

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