Jan van Eyck 1395-1441 Kevin J. Benoy. Jan van Eyck Jan van Eyck lived and worked in the Flemish town of Bruges. His work was radically new and was called

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Text of Jan van Eyck 1395-1441 Kevin J. Benoy. Jan van Eyck Jan van Eyck lived and worked in the Flemish...

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Jan van Eyck 1395-1441 Kevin J. Benoy Slide 2 Jan van Eyck Jan van Eyck lived and worked in the Flemish town of Bruges. His work was radically new and was called Ars Nova (new art). It is sometimes referred to as late Northern Gothic, and otherwise called Northern Renaissance. Slide 3 Jan van Eyck Van Eyck worked for Phillip, Duke of Burgundy, who appointed him court painter. He also worked as a Burgundian diplomat. Phillip the Good, Duke of Burgundy (by van der Weyden). Slide 4 Jan van Eyck It appears that Jan began his artistic career working alongside his brother, Hubert. Manuscript illumination and larger works appear to have been completed by them together. Illumination in the Turin-Milan Hours by the van Eyck brothers Slide 5 Jan van Eyck Largest of their works together was the Ghent Altarpiece. This is a multi- panel work, a polyptych. The outer panels are shown to the left. Slide 6 Jan van Eyck The work may have originally been housed in a rather more elaborate massive, tiered tabernacle. ` Slide 7 Jan van Eyck The inner panels open to show several small images and the most important element the Adoration of the Lamb. It is suggested that Hubert began this work and that Jan completed it. Slide 8 Jan van Eyck This, like all other works by van Eyck, shows painstaking attention to the tiniest details. Three dimensionality is achieved by the use of atmospheric perspective, layering of colour and the scaling of people and objects according to where they are in the landscape but not the conscious use of mathematical perspective. Slide 9 Jan van Eyck Giorgio Vasari, the biographer of renaissance artists, began the myth that Jan van Eyck created oil paints. This is not the case, but he mastered them better than anyone before him, using the fast-drying medium to great effect as he layered the colours and took advantage of their sheen to create luminous effects. Virgin & Child in a Church Slide 10 Jan van Eyck Van Eycks fanatical attention to microscopic detail should not be seen as a kind of substitute for photography which was still several centuries away. Rather, the details are carefully collected and positioned to infuse his paintings with symbolic meaning called disguised symbolism by Erwin Panofsky. Note the position of the patron in this work, the Virgin of Chancellor Rolin. Slide 11 Jan van Eyck In the Annunciation, the dark upper church is illuminated by a single window depicting God the Father, and three bright windows, lower, representing the Trinity. Even the floor tiles reveal meaningful detail as David is shown slaying Goliath (with the Philistine giant representing the futile power of the Devil. Mary will overcome the Devil by bearing the Christ child. Slide 12 Jan van Eyck Nowhere is his attention to detail and to symbolism more apparent than in a small work found in Londons National Gallery the Arnolfini Wedding. Slide 13 Jan van Eyck Not all is as it appears. This is probably a betrothal or a wedding picture and the inscription on the back wall, above the mirror clearly indicates that Jan van Eyck was present it says Jan van Eyck was here. 1434 Slide 14 Jan van Eyck The mirror also reveals two male figures facing the couple the artist and a priest. Surrounding the mirror are 10 tiny images of the passion of Christ symbolizing the promise of salvation for those shown in the mirror. Slide 15 Jan van Eyck Further symbols include the positioning of Arnolfini and his wife, with him near the window the outside world (also symbolized by his clogs) -- and she in the interior world of the home. The cherry trees outside may symbolize love, the little dog fidelity, the green dress symbolizing hope, the red bed-coverings represent passion, the single lit candle the presence of the Holy Spirit, the carved figure of Saint Margaret points to the hope of a pregnancy (Cenami may look pregnant but is not so this is the fashion of the time). Slide 16 Jan van Eyck Everything in this dual portrait signifies the great wealth and importance of the elaborately and expensively clothed principal figures. This is a reception room, not a bedroom, so the great bed that so dominates it is a show of wealth. The enormous metal chandelier and the oriental carpet are similar ostentatious displays. Even the fruit on the windowsill speaks of great wealth. This is an image of the alliance of two great Italian banking houses. Perhaps the image was to be sent back to Italy to prove their prosperity to family back home. Slide 17 Jan van Eyck Without a doubt, Jan van Eyck was the greatest genius of the Northern Renaissance. His religious works and his portraiture reveal him to be a man of unparalleled powers of observation. Man in a Red Turban, probably a self portrait. Slide 18 finis