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What do any of you know of Jan van Eyck? I just learned of him tonight and from what I saw, he's incredible. I'm going to do some searching on-line and look for some books, but I was just wondering what your opinions were.
His stuff is just loaded with symbolism.
There was an amazing article on one of his works, in Scientific American. It was about how he may have used a concave glass to cheat in his oil painting, Giovanni Arnolfini and His Bride. It was concluded that he didnt cheat, the perpsective of the chandelier was a bit off. If you look closely at this work youll see a concave mirror in the back reflecting the room, its so cool.
Also Van eyck was though to have influenced Leonardo Da Vinci which makes him even cooler.
Here's a couple of links to images:
I just finished reading a book about van Eyck which was pretty good. Unfortunately, there weren't a whole lot of his paintings in the book, but the ones that they did show were amazing. The subject matter doesn't interest me so much as his technique and style. I also find van eyck interesting in that there is much dispute as to just what he was trying to say in his symbol loaded paintings. They weren't just religious scenes; some of them were believed to be a collaborative effort between him and the patron with multiple meanings in them. There seems to be little doubt that he was a religious man, but he obviously had some qualms about the church, especially when it came to paid indulgences. And I liked how he put himself in a lot of his paintings, always wearing a red turbin. He seemed like a smart-ass, in a way.
I learned about him in art history- Jan actually had a brother named Hubert who may have contributed to the collection of paintings under the Van Eyck name, or helped work on some paintings with jan as a joint effort. His work is rich with symbolism but it seems to me to be way more subtle and worked into his paintings than most northern renaissance painters. Bosch also has a ridiculous amount of symbolism, but his paintings are entirely conceptual, and not very visually pleasing. Some Van Eyck's look like Bosch's, i don't know what they're called but check them out if you can find them.
Another Northern Renaissance painter that was fairly interesting was Grunewald. Do some reasearch on that guy- The temptation of St. Anthony is really cool. Any painting with a flaming diety in the sky is really cool for that matter.
The one thing that puzzles me about van eyck is that there is SO much detail to his paintings, that even if he and his brother split the work, it still seems like each painting would take SO much time- the perfect patterns in perspective on folding cloth, the chiariscuro on every bead of a necklace... it's amazing.
Grenappels: I'm not too familiar with his brother's works, but I do know about him. Of course, I don't think that he achieved the notoriety that Jan achieved. In much the same way that van Eyck must have been a revelation in his time, just think about how Bosch must have been perceived. I agree that Bosch was about the idea, but van Eych was all about technique. He just refined everything and took it to such a higher level, I think. I'm also somewhat familiar with Grunewald; he had some pretty dynamic compositions and his figure work was amazing too.
Robin-eleven: I like that one too. His paintings of sculptures are fantastic, they really take on form. And that's one sexy Eve!