The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck

The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck

Today’s painting in My Daily Art Display is one that art historians have written about probably more than any other with the exception, maybe, of Da Vinci’s Last Supper which of course received renewed speculation after Dan Brown’s novel.

The Arnolfini Portrait which can be seen at the National Gallery, London was painted by Jan van Eyck around 1434.  The two main characters in the painting are Giavanni  Arnolfini and Giovanna Cenami.  Art historians have looked at the painting and tried to decide whether this is a picture of their wedding  or just one of their betrothal ceremony.  Was the lady pregnant or was that just a fashion style of the day?  Much has been written about the symbolism of the dog, the oranges, the mirrored reflection and virtually anything you can see has been given an interpretation of its symbolism.  Notwithstanding the symbolism and the many interpretations I believe it is a painting of haunting beauty.