Friday, July 10, 2009

the arnolfini wedding

i recently had the good luck to visit the home & studio of a fantastic artist. (more on that in the upcoming months) amongst his many works was a skeletal version of this painting by jan van eyck. when i was in boarding school taking drawing classes, we often referenced 'the art book.'  it was within it's pages that i had an early introduction to many of the great painters of the last few centuries, such as this one painted in 1434 and held in the national gallery in london. 'the arnolfini wedding' has always haunted me. it has a strange, almost supernatural quality to it, with the unseen presence of god heavily painted within the painting's many loaded symbols. what gets me most, besides the never ending question of "is she pregnant or not?' is the reflection of the sitters, witness and painter caught in the tiny convex mirror on the far wall behind the couple. 

2 comments :

[Tara] said...

I agree -- this is absolutely one of the most mysterious, mesmerizing, eerie paintings of all time. I often wish I could have been there, just to see what the artist and the sitters were like...

Nicomi "Nix" Turner said...

Beautiful!