Jan van Eyck

One of the most famous pictures in London’s National Gallery is The Arnolfini Portrait painted by Jan van Eyck in 1434. No one is quite sure if it represents a wedding, a betrothal or even a commemoration. It’s an image filled with symbolism as are many of van Eyck’s works which is one of the many joys of exploring them; some of the pictures give up their secrets slowly, so minute are the details created by van Eyck’s brush.

Other works explore the superiority of paint over stone. Some of  them, at a glance, appear to show astonishingly realistic sculptures, but closer inspection shows them to be painted. Likewise beware assuming that the surrounding frames are wooden!

This lecture introduces the work of Jan van Eyck and examines some of his better-known pieces in all their painted glory.