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Giovanni Arnolfini and his Bride by Jan van Eyck

            Jan van Eyck painted Giovanni Arnolfini and his Bride in 1434. Jan van Eyck was an Early Netherlandish painter. The painting that is now officially called Giovanni Arnolfini and his Bride has had many previous names such as, The Arnolfini Wedding, The Arnolfini Marriage, The Arnolfini Double Portrait, and the Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife. The painting is a small portrait that is believed to be Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini and a woman who is believed to be his wife. .
             This remarkable painting was created using oil paints on an oak panel. This painting is so famous because it was the first paintings that used oil instead of the standard tempera method that was so popular in this period of time. Oil paint takes many hours to dry but is easily blended on any surface. The oil paints allowed Van Eyck to achieve superior results on an oak panel. Van Eyck used a special technique where he applied layer after layer of a thin translucent glazes to create incredible detail in the painting. This technique gave the painting both rich tone and color. .
             The composition of this painting is very unique. Van Eyck uses linear one point perspective to establish a realistic sense of space in this piece. The orthogonal lines lead the viewer to the artists desired focal point, which is the mirror on the wall directly in the center of the painting. The image in the convex mirror establishes the unique sense of space in which the viewer is brought from the foreground to the background and then forward again. The purpose of the mirror is so that the viewer can experience the total space surrounding the figures and feels invited into the space through the reflected image. Van Eyck's use of color demonstrates the use of complementary colors to achieve interest. The brides green robe stands out against the red drapery of the bed behind her. Also Giovanni Arnolfini violet robe is set against the golden tones of the wood window frame.

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