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The Arnolfini couple - Jan van Eyck. 82,2x60
Jan van Eyck - an outstanding master of portraiture, author of paintings on religious subjects, one of the first artists who mastered the work in oil paints.
“The couple Arnolfini” - A recognized masterpiece of Van Eyck. It fascinates at first sight and attracts attention for a long time. There is an awareness of the severity of the captured moment, the presence of some symbolic meaning. Over his clue, the largest art critics pondered, trying to understand the meaning of many objects. For a long time, it was believed that Giovanni di Arrigio Arnolfini was pictured here with his wife Giovanna Chenamibut in 1997 it was established that they married in 1447, thirteen years after the creation of the work and six years after the death of Van Eyck. Now they believe that the picture is a cousin Giovanni di Arrigio Giovanni di Nikolao with his wifewhose name is unknown. Arnolfini belonged to the merchant family from Luke and lived in Bruges (at that time there were very close contacts between Italy and the Netherlands).
The couple is shown in the interior of a very rich house. An ornate Latin inscription means: "Jan van Eyck was here 1434." In addition to her and the very fact of creating the portrait, the presence of the artist is confirmed by his reflection in the mirror on the back wall of the room. The work was widely interpreted as a document fixing an act of marriage. In this vein, the candle is interpreted (since it is alone and burns over Giovanni, it was concluded that the portrait was posthumous: Arnolfini's wife died during childbirth), shoes (symbolism goes back to the Old Testament, according to the laws of which they must be removed, entering the holy place, and the place of marriage for the Dutch was such) and a dog (she was considered a symbol of marital fidelity). However, discussion about the content of the work is still ongoing.