February 11, 2016

Painting With The Girls 42

February 11, 2016.

Day 42, (324 days to go).

Rain Batik

Postcard watercolor, 5X7, Matted


Jan Van Eyk (c. 1395-1441) was a painter in the Burgundian court in Bruges, sometimes called the “Inventor Of Oil Paint” because he perfected the technique. He mixed his pigments with walnut oils and set his panels to dry, creating many transparent layers. In this way, the viewer had the impression of a three-dimensional painting. The transparencies of the several layers allowed light to enter the painting and bounce back in a beautiful effect. The earlier technique of using tempera required mixing eggs with pigments, thus obtaining an opaque result on the surface of the painting.

Van Eyk’s greatest triumph in technique and portraits is probably best represented by The Betrothal of the Arnolfini, (1434), because it masters the glowing effects of color, texture and reality. This portrait also carries hidden symbols, a trait of most paintings at that time. The wedding candle on the chandelier suggests feminine virtue and conjugal morality.

The apples in the windowsill and sideboard symbolize Original Sin.

The couple is barefooted indicating the room might have been made sacred by the promise of marriage.

The image of the dog symbolizes conjugal fidelity.   

Jan Van Eyk The Bethrothal of the Arnolfini 1434       National Gallery,  London