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Arnolfini Wedding- World History Presentation
Transcript of Arnolfini Wedding- World History Presentation
Styles and Techniques
Comparison to other works of the Renaissance
The Art Gallery Experience
Unlike many other Northern Renaissance paintings, the Arnolfini Wedding does not feature a landscape.
It does, however, feature intricate, minute details in the background like other Northern Renaissance paintings.
Northern Renaissance art typically depicted everyday scenes, but The Arnolfini Wedding Portrait depicts a portrait wealthy couple. Portraits were common during this era of the Renaissance.
The two central themes of this piece are Arnolfini’s wealth and the bond between the man (Arnolfini) and his partner (Giovanna). These themes are reinforced by the many symbols in the painting.
The two pairs of shoes, extravagant wardrobe, and oranges represent wealth.
Where: The National Gallery
City: Trafalgar Square, London
Entrance Fee: Free
John Julius Angerstein was a banker that had a picture collection that was supposed to form a new national collection to display his artworks.
His home wasn't a good enough place for display, so he decided to build a new building.
The building opened up in 1838 to the public.
Around 176 years in operation
This Painting was bought in 1842; and it came into the museum.(172 years)
There are other Northern Renaissance paintings in the room.
Best times to visit:
Daily 10am – 6pm
Friday 10am – 9pm
Places to eat/drink: National cafe, and Espresso bar.
There's 3 shops; a book shop, and other gift shops.
Northern vs. Northern
Italian vs. Northern
The Italian Renaissance featured classic mythology and religious scenes, but Northern Renaissance art subject matters were usually domestic interiors, portraits, and religious scenes.
The Arnolfini is different from typical Italian Renaissance art because the subject matter is neither classic mythology nor a religious scene.
Instead of focusing on linear perspective, symmetry, and balance like the Italian Renaissance, The Arnolfini Wedding and other Northern Renaissance art pay attention to minute surface detail.
Jan van Eyck uses oil, rather than tempera, (which was used during the Italian Renaissance) to include the specific details in the portrait.
Jan van Eyck, 1434
Comparison to other pieces in Room 56 of The National Gallery
Portrait of a Man in a Red Turban (Self Portrait?), Jan van Eyck, 1433
In comparison to The Arnolfini Wedding, Portrait of a Man in a Red Turban does not showcase extreme detail, and does not have a background.
Although the styles and subject matters are different, van Eyck uses oil on oak panel for both paintings.
The emphasis of symbolism within art was prevalent during the Northern Renaissance. In this speculated self portrait, as well as Arnolfini Wedding, Jan van Eyck includes details that allow room for interpretation.
In the frame of this painting, the inscriptions "As I Can," in Greek letters left by van Eyck makes art critics and historians wonder if the man in the portrait is van Eyck himself.
The style in which he painted the headpiece is a symbol of which era the painting was made.
Jan van Eyck uses symbols to drop hints in both paintings.
A Man Reading (Saint Ivo?), Rogier van der Weyden, 1450
Like other Northern Renaissance art, including
The Arnolfini Wedding
, this painting features a background with intricate details.
Although both have minute surface details,
A Man Reading
has a sense of aerial perspective and
Just like van Eyck's paintings, this was done on oak panel, using oil, allowing the artist to go back
into the painting and include small details demonstrated in Arnolfini Wedding and other Northern
The paper is used a symbol. It is said to be an important document, making the man reading it someone important.
Northern Renaissance paintings featured oil on Panel, minute details, attention to surface detail, naturalism, vibrant color, everyday scenes, domestic interiors and portraits.
In the back of the painting on the wall, a mirror is shown reflecting the two subjects. It can be seen that there are other people in the room with them.
This is also supported by the detail of the Italian merchant raising his hand as if he were welcoming or waving to the other people.
The dog and signature on the wall are examples of minute details. Each hair on the dog seems to be created using a single haired paintbrush giving it the effect of real hairs. The signature demonstrates how Northern Renaissance artists added small details in the background of their works.
• Many of these details could not be done without the use of oil paint. Paintings done during the Italian Renaissance used tempera, which dries quickly, thus making it hard to incorporate surface details.
• The use of oil paint also allows for layering, which creates room for less mistakes and precision. It also allows colors to become more deep and rich. The layering technique also allows room for shading, we can see where the light hits the merchants face as it comes through the window.
• The use of shading helps define objects, and brings out the texture of several objects.
The holding/grasping of hands and the dog symbolize fidelity and trust.
Many people believe that the Arnolfini Portrait was a painting for the wedding, while others say that it was actually a record of their marriage after their marriage.
Some of these groups also believed that Giovanna was pregnant but it has never been proven and most don’t agree with that.
Art historians argue that the heavy material of her dress creates the pregnancy-like bump.
Comparison to Italian Renaissance art
The two examples above are (left)
, Sandro Botticello, 1482, and (right)
, Michaelangelo, 1501-1504.
The subject matters are different compared to
The Arnolfini Portrait
is about mythology and
is a biblical sculpture.
The Italian paintings emphasize humanism by depicting the human body accurately and in detail. Van Eyck's piece focuses on the details in the background.
Summary: Key Takeaway Points
The Arnolfini Wedding is currently located in the National Museum in London.
It is one of the most popular examples of Northern Renaissance art.
The central themes are marriage and wealth.
The painting features extreme details, vibrant colors, and symbols of wealth, marriage, and trust.
The techniques, like layering and shading, and media (Oil on Oak Panel) used in the painting allow for the art work to be detailed.
It is easily distinguishable as a Northern Renaissance painting because of the characteristics it shares with other paintings of the region: the style, technique, subject matter, and media used.
It is different from other Northern Renaissance paintings because it is not a landscape or an everyday scene, but naturalism is present throughout the painting.
The painting is different from Italian Renaissance art because it differs in style, technique, subject matter and media used, but detail (in different forms) is common between Italian and Northern Renaissance art.
Thando Mtshali, Jennifer Freda, Erica Said, and Ashley Pokhai