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A Closer Look At The Portrait Of Giovanni Arnolfini And His Wife: A Look Into What People Of This Time Peroid Inserted In Pictures And Their Double Meanings.

1008 words - 4 pages

In this paper I will be completing an iconographic analysis of the painting Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and His Wife (1434) by Jan van Eyke, but first I wanted to explain what iconography is. The general definition for iconography is a branch of art history that focuses on identification, description, classification, and interpretation of different artistic pieces and time periods. When looking in the Anno Domini Glossary which deals with terms in a more Christian context, it describes iconography as how the actual pieces of art or different symbols found within the pieces of art are representatives of Christian ideas, people, and history.I think that iconographic analysis of images are important to art historians because it helps give a deeper understanding of the piece of art and what was going on at the time the art was made. I think it helps solve some of the mysteries for art historians of some of the things that might have been going on at the time that could not be written or said. I also think it adds another dimension to the piece of art once you know what the icons symbolize.That is exactly how I felt after doing this iconographic analysis for the Portrait of Giovanni and His Wife by Jan van Eyke. It is almost like it went from two dimensional to three dimensional after researching this painting. I was initially interested in this portrait because of the style of dress and the intimate moment of the two people holding hands. I also thought the woman was pregnant and the dogs' presence in the picture must mean it was a beloved pet. Then I read some of the material on this painting and found out that almost every object incorporated into this picture has a deeper meaning.In the picture stand a man and women in a bedroom. The man is Giovanni Arnolfini and the woman is Giovanna Cenami. They are fully dressed (except for the man's shoes are off) and they are holding hands. The woman is wearing a green dress that bulges out in the front and has her free hand resting on the bulge of the dress. The man's free hand is his right hand and he has it raised in front of him like he is taking an oath. There is a small dog standing in front of the couple, a bed behind the woman, a table behind the man, and a chandelier hanging above them. There is also a round mirror hanging on the back wall that is seen in the space between the man and the woman.Earlier in my description I mentioned that the man was fully dressed except that he has his shoes off. You cannot see the man's bare feet but you can see a pair of shoes beside him. This is a symbol that what ever is taking place in this picture is taking place on Holy ground. The small dog that I assumed was a beloved pet actually symbolizes loyalty and trust which would be something very important to two people getting married. By showing the dog and the dog having a double meaning it was...

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