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Enjoy the masterpiece - The Arnolfini Portrait
2007-1-27 7:30:56 Post:Betty | Categories:doupine | Comment:0 | Quote:0 | Browse:

 

This work is a portrait of Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini and his wife. The couple is taking the marriage vows hand in hand. All the details in the room are symbolically meaningful. The cast-aside clogs indicate this event is taking place on holy ground. The bed is a symbolization of marriage. The oranges on the chest below the window may refer to fertility. The little dog symbolizes fidelity. The prayer beads beside the mirror, are usually used in art as the metaphor of fealty.

You might ask: if this picture indicates an on-going matrimony, where's the priest and why is it in a bedroom instead of in a church? This tracks back to the history. In that period, a man and a woman can be marriaged legally anywhere, and there haven't to be a priest.

The mirror on the wall reflects two figures in the doorway, one of whom may be the painter himself.

The ornate Latin signature, "Johannes de egek fnit fir/1434", which translates as "Jan van Eyck was here 1434",  might remind you the legal document. So, it's no wonder if you regard "The Arnolfini Portrait" as a painted marriage cercificate.

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