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Jan van Eyck and The Marriage of Arnoflini

            Jan van Eyck and "The Marriage of Arnoflini".
             Jan van Eyck was on of the greatest and most influential painters of the 1400's. Jan and his brother Hubert are said to be the first to perfect the art of using oil paints. His paintings often included objects with hidden symbolic meaning. There are several different ways to interpretae the style of the symbolism that Jan van Eyck used to paint the portrait of Givanni Arnoflini and his second bride but here is what most art historians think. .
             A Marriage is a sacred union between a man and women. A wedding is one of the most important events in a woman's life. Often a wedding occurs in the presence of a wedding party, family members, and friends. During the 1400's a wedding ceremony was performed in the privacy of the home. The artists was hired to paint a portrait of this marriage. Some art historians say the he was a witness to the wedding and the painting serves as a documentation of their union.
             Giovanna Cenami (Arnoflini's wife) looks pregnancy in her green wedding dress, this is thought maybe to one of the reasons that the wedding was kept a secret. "The bride was definitely not a virgin, because white symbolizes pureness not green". The amber beads that he painted in the background are a sign of purity but the green dress suggested otherwise. Some historians say that green is a sign of her willing to bear children. .
             He is holding her hand in the portrait to express his love for her. This wedding was held during the daytime like most are now and I know this because you can see light coming through the window in the painting. The one burning candle that was in the room " symbolizes the union candle or could eve symbolize the presence of God". In the Renaissance a candle signified God's knowledge. Arnolfini and his bride aren't wearing any shoes, this is said to symbolize that the floor is holy ground. Dogs were often considered to be a symbol of devotion and love so they were often included in portraits of married people.

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