Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Arnolfini Portrait


Two days ago in the afternoon after spending many hours in the studio, I decided to go to The National Gallery to see The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan Van Eyck. I've never thought that I would get the chance to see it ever, since it has always been something that I've seen only in books that if feels too surreal to actually see it in real life...but since I'm in reality and it's here for me I decided to go to room 57 Sainsbury Wing. The big crowd circling the painting didn't deter me to just walk away like I usually do when I just can't be bothered...instead I ploughed my way in and took a good big-eyed look at one of the most celebrated piece of art. I could feel my eyes tearing up seeing for the very first time...oh yeah! it was beautiful!!! I've seen it hundreds of times but the feeling does not compare. You might think that it is just a normal husband and wifey kinda portrait but the use of colour and objects have so many hidden symbols and meanings that you should seriously read it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Arnolfini_Portrait has really good section on the symbols. But just to summarize it as quoted in the article, the green symbolises hope of becoming a mother, white cap equals purity, the little dog is loyalty between husband and wife, the mirror showing two figures as an act of legalising the marriage, the one lit candle chandelier above has two theories, one to suggest the idea of marriage and the second controversial one is that the women has already passed away since the candle is lit on the husband side only and aarhh there so much more...I'm blown away

1 comment:

Jackie said...

oh..lala, good composition.. a gd writer and journalist, kp it up Em.