Arnolfini portrait of Dutch artist Jan van Eyck is one of the most famous Renaissance portraits. The painting has many unique mysterious features that bring deep artistic value.
Some general outline of the Arnolfini portrait
Van Eyck is a master of drawing beautifully detailed and illuminated scenes like this. He was also one of the first to use oil paint and had a skillful technique of using colors. There are even times when Van Eyck is said to have invented oil paints. He paints layers of clear colors, creating subtle light and dark transformations. It can be said that in the art world, Arnolfini Portrait is worshiped and analyzed as much as Mona Lisa. This portrait depicts the rich merchant Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini and his wife.
The mystery needs to be deciphered in this portrait
The main male character in this portrait is Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini. The heroine’s identity is not very clear, probably Giovanni’s first wife Constanza Trenta. When Jan van Eyck painted this picture, she was … dead, so this picture is probably Giovanni’s commemorative picture for his deceased wife. We can confirm his gender is almost 100% correct because in addition to this picture, Jan van Eyck also painted him another small portrait. Giovanni’s face was calm but unpredictable, his eyes avoiding looking directly at the viewer and his right hand raised showing the power of almost God’s posture. The young bride shows an unnatural face, showing pure virtue and affection. Her right hand is in Arnolfini’s left, and the groom’s right is neatly in front of her chest. This is a solemn symbol of the union between a couple.
local contemporary beliefs and practices
In this portrait, many details refer to a certain kind of meaning, some of which are related to local contemporary beliefs and practices. It can be a blessing in the hope of “giving birth to a baby”. The decoration in the painting shows the wealth of the bride and groom’s family, such as the magnificent chandelier, the intricate convex mirror on the wall, the pearl necklace and the Persian rug above. The little secret in “Portrait of Arnolfini” lies above the mirror. Painter Jan van Eyck drew a stylized script – a feature often found on the walls of many wealthy families of the time. In fact, this is a line that expresses the humor of the artist, because when translated, it means: “Johannes van Eyck was here in 1434”.
In conclusion, the Arnolfini portrait really became a symbol of the painting of the world. Its mysterious features have also brought great artistic value to the world painting