Arnolfini Portrait Analysis

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The Arnolfini Portrait is an oil painting done on oak panel by Jan Van Eyck. This piece was done in 1434 and is 32.4 inches high and 23.6 inches wide. This impressive painting is a wedding scene with Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini and his wife. Also present are two other figures that would act as witness to the wedding, who can be seen in the reflection of the mirror in the center of the piece. The Arnolfini Portrait is currently located in the National Gallery in London. In the Arnolfini Portrait the two main figures of a man and woman are standing and holding hands. They are in a bedroom, with the red bed behind them giving away the location in the home they are in. There are a variety of things throughout the painting that hold symbolic significance. Some of these include the red marriage bed, the small dog next to the bride, the fruit and open window near the groom, and the set of clogs on the ground on the lower left of the portrait. In addition to all the symbolic items in the portrait, there is also an incredible amount of detail put into Van Eyck’s piece. From the individual hairs on the dog, to the small scenes places around the convex mirror. These subtle details also bring a sense of realness to the painting by adding textures. Some …show more content…

More predominant elements are the use of color and value in the painting. Because Jan Van Eyck uses oil paint in the portrait, he is able to get subtle shading that creates the sense of form. One area of the portrait that really shows the incredible use of color and value would be the folds of the clothing, letting the viewer see just how heavy the fabric is as it drapes over the forms of Arnolfini and his wife. Every proportion in the painting makes sense, with body parts being the correct size when compared to one another. The way the figures are placed also gives the piece a sense of balance, having both figures evenly off

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