100 Days of Art History Jinjins


The Arnolfini Portrait

For my last 10 paintings I decided to revisit master copies that I'd done early on the project, before I started putting maximum effort into each one. This is the first entrant of that mini series.

I love this bizarre scene of two solemn people and a little fluffy dog hanging out in their bedroom together. It's not 100% certain what's going on in this painting, but it's commonly thought to be commemorating a wedding or a marriage. Hence it is sometimes called the Arnolfini Marriage.

This painting is one of the first oil paintings ever, done in the early Renaissance. You can tell the artist was showing off because there's so much exhaustively rendered stuff in fastidiously calculated one point perspective. I think the stylization of the figures make more sense when you look at Medieval illuminated manuscripts, which were the dominant art form then--these are clearly 3D versions of those illustrations, rather than 2D versions of real-life people.

A few more random thoughts...I had fun putting glasses on the dog. The chandelier was a BEAST to draw. And the man's hat is majestic.

My last 10 entries were redos of paintings I'd attempted at the beginning so that I could compare progress and give the original artworks their proper due. You can see my first swing at The Arnolfini Portrait at entry 41.

Reference image is from Wikipedia. It is now at the National Gallery in London.

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