The Arnolfini Portrait

BY: Jan Van Eyck - National Gallery London

Date: 1434
Original Medium: Oil on oak

This famous dual portrait is beautifully rendered and contains many interesting representative symbols. The couple depicted is Arnolfini and his fiancée, holding hands and staring solemnly away from one another. The bed behind them and the woman’s full dress show the promise in marriage, such as intimacy and pregnancy. In true Northern Renaissance fashion, the light in this painting plays an important role in the staging of the scene.