Arnolfini Essay Research Paper Jan van Eycks — страница 2

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third person, and to show that the painting was to be used as validity of their marriage. It was known that marriages before the Council, lacking a priest or any witnesses, would more often than not end in tragedy. To better explain this, Panofsky includes a short anecdote about a wife who fell in love with someone else, and the husband could not prove their marriage was valid. Therefore, she left her husband and married the father of Willibald Pirckheimer. The story showed that without witnesses, marriages often tended to end in tragedy due to lack of proof. He uses this story as a legitimate reason that van Eyck painted that portrait and the inscription was to be read ?Johannes van Eyck was here?. By doing so, van Eyck was not only an artist, but he also acted as a witness of

the marriage. Van Eyck?s marriage date and the birth of his first child were also discussed by Panofsky in some detail. In order to prove that the inscription meant what he thought, he showed that it could not possibly mean the other interpretation, that it was van Eyck. It was known that van Eyck?s first born was baptized before the creation of the painting, so it could not be him getting married. He must have gotten married some time before that painting along with having a child. Therefore, the inscription could not read ?this is Johannes van Eyck?, but rather ?Johannes van Eyck was here?; hence the position of a witness. Panofsky has already proved in many ways that the two paintings are in fact the same. It is hard to doubt that two paintings with the same description, date,

and perfectly matching details such as the mirror, are different. He concluded the Orthodox theory to be true due to the false evidence given by Vermander, and the fact that it could not be van Eyck in the painting. This single painting was considered genius in the way it solved the problem of proving a marriage, yet no other 15th century artist ever attempted to do the same. Panofsky compares this painting to the picture of the marriage of David and Michal. He does so because both use symbolic meaning in their composition. They both contain similar gestures, the raising of the forearm and joining of the hands, and both lack a priest. Panofsky compared these paintings to show that this composition is not uncommon in the iconography in pictures of marriage. Van Eyck?s use of

symbols, not only in Arnolfini but in all his religious works, is important by showing iconography, or reading of symbols in a painting. Iconography is something that has been studied for a long time by many famous people. One of which is Cesare Ripa, whose name was a pseudonym for Giovanni Campani. He was mentioned briefly in the essay, but I did some research and found that he was an early compiler of iconography?s who lived in Italy. Panofsky shows how important iconography is by pointing out many of the symbols used in the portrait of Arnolfini. A small terrier dog was added to the portrait to represent faith, which Vermander incorrectly stated was a person. These symbols are so subtle that the common person may not realize they stand for something far beyond what they are.

For example, the one lit candle in the chandelier represents the all seeing wisdom of God. By using iconology, one can understand how these symbols came about and relate them to the work of art. This could open up entire new meanings for paintings that use iconography. This essay by Panofsky was vital by showing me that art historians must without a doubt check every source, and be careful of translations. I believe he used a lot of quotes in other languages to make sure he made no mistake in translating them. This goes to show that for an art historian to be as renowned as Panofsky, you must learn many languages and be able to doubt information that seems to be true until you personally have proven through multiple sources that it is in fact true. Panofsky proved the Arnolfini

portrait to be historically important because it confirmed that a painting was in fact just one painting when for a long time it was doubted and thought to be two. By doing so, the origin of the ?London? piece was discovered. All art history has an important impact on works of art. That is why it is essential to be sure the facts are facts, and the information is reliable. 319