Jan Van Eyck's 'Madonna With The Child Reading'

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During the fifteenth century despite capitalism many artist were able to make livings by painting for royal, church, and wealthy. One of the best examples is Jan van Eyck, a well-known painter from the fifteenth century. He made the use of oil based paint popular. This type of paint was different from tempera due to it having a base of oil. This type paint made it easier to blend with other colors, making for a larger range on the color scale. Also due to the fact that tempera was a water or egg base it was not as opaque as oil paint could be. In the article titled “Madonna with the Child Reading” the author explains, “The flat, dull surface of tempera was transformed into jewel-like medium that was a vivid and convincing depiction of natural…show more content…
The work was started by Jon van Eyck’s brother and then finished by him in 1432. This piece of work consists of twenty panels, eight panels when closed and 12 panels when opened. When the altarpiece is closed you will see the donors on the bottom left and right panels. On the next two center bottom panels there is a painting of a statue of Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist. Both of these paintings have such astonishing detail with lights and darks that they seem to look like you could touch these statues. On the top panels the Annunciation is painted with even more detail. Outside of the window on one of the panels you can look off into the distance of the city. Once the panel is open, the upper panel has a remarkable painting of God wearing the Pope’s triple tiara. To the left of God is the Virgin, the queen of heaven, wearing the crown of twelve stars. Above the Virgin’s head is an inscription that tells about virtue and purity. To the right of God sits Saint John the Baptist. He also has an inscription above his head, which conveys greatness as the precursor. On the panels on either side of the Virgin and Saint John is a choir of angles. On either side of the angles stand Adam and Eve; they symbolize the sin of mankind. Adam and Eve also show that God gives forgiveness for our sins. Under all of these panels are five others. The main panel is painting of Adoration of the Lamb. The…show more content…
Portraiture was becoming popular in the fifteenth century due to people wanting to see themselves in extraordinary detail. This was used for people to establish a personality and identity, as well as a rank because it was expensive to commission an artist. Also people would use portraits as a way to represent someone not present, for example in the text “Gardner’s Art through the Ages” Kleiner wrote, “Sometimes, royalty, nobility, and the very rich would send artists to paint the likeness of a prospective bride or groom.” (542). This was a way for people to visualize oneself and others. The portrait titled Man in a Red Turban is an unknown person painted by Jon van Eyck. The person being painted is looking directly at van Eyck, which was uncommon Due to the view of the person being painted, it is believed that it is a self-portrait. Van Eyck left an inscription on the frame of the portrait, which has his signature and date as well as “as I can”. This is a common saying that van Eyck left on most of his work, making them

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