Comparison Of Botticelli's "birth Of Venus" And Van Eyck's "arnolfini Wedding"

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Comparison of Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" and Van Eyck's "Arnolfini Wedding"

Comparison of Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" and Van Eyck's "Arnolfini Wedding"

This piece, Arnolfini Wedding by Jan van Eyck, has many of the common characteristics of the Early Renaissance. Jan Van Eyck was a Dutch painter of the 15th century, which would technically classify him as a part of the Northern Renaissance, though the characteristics of his paintings mirror those of the main Renaissance artistic pieces.

In Medieval art, and continuing into the Renaissance, many artists painted frescoes (watercolors on wet plaster). These paintings, while quite intricate and beautiful, were incapable of reaching a higher level of perfection due to the 'running'quality of watercolors. Oil paints, on the other hand, were quite detailed, due to viscosity of the paint and the ease of application. In Arnolfini Wedding, for instance, we see van Eyck in the mirror, a detail that could not be easily achieved with a fresco.

This, in turn, encouraged patronage, for now patrons could fit the commissioned work in their house without renovating.

Jan van Eyck, in his portrayal of a man and his wife, is stepping away from the traditional religious works of the Medieval Era. This was actually quite common in the Renaissance, although religious pieces were still made by artists of great skill.

If you look carefully, Arnolfini Wedding seems to stretch backwards, due to the efforts of Jan

Van Eyck to accurately portray distance. In the Renaissance Era, this was essentially codified in the rules of Linear Perspective, which showed mathematically how things

should look. One of the earliest portraits painted in oil shows an expensively dressed couple holding hands in a bedroom, accompanied by a small dog.

The painting on an oak panel is typical of its time and place in its lifelike style, elegant figures and a setting packed with significant and symbolic details that allowed viewers to read the work like a book. Van Eyck has heightened its naturalism by using oil paint, which imparts a clarity to everything.

For many years, Van Eyck(circa 1390-1441) was regarded as the inventor of oil painting, but scholars now know that the medium was used centuries earlier. Van Eyck portrays the Arnolfinis as people of high social standing, and as a perfect husband and wife. For Arnolfini, the image is especially desirable: he's a good man to do business with because he is in control of his commercial and private life.

The couple's social status is conveyed by their fine clothing and affluent setting. Arnolfini, who was probably in his 30s, is well dressed in an outfit most appropriate to a successful cloth merchant. His brown velvet cloak, lined and trimmed with mink, required costly metres of fur and fabric. The cuffs of his black tunic are embroidered with gold. The mud-stained elevated wooden shoes, or pattens, which he has removed, boast an elongated shape worn by the upper classes.

Cenami, who was younger than Arnolfini, is the image of wealth, beauty and up-to-date fashion. She too wears a voluminous outer ...
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