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University of Toronto St. George
Giancarla Periti

th Lecture4 – Netherlandish painting in the 15 century: the invention of oil painting  Northern Europe o Last lecture: Florence, Italy Workshop of the Master of Flemalle, Merode Altarpiece (triptych of the Annunciation, open), ca. 125-30, oil on wood, New York, Metropolitan Museum  Gabrielle announce to Mary the birth of Christ  Take place in domestic settings – fire place, bench, table with all the usual objects that th you could imagine in the 15 century private place  Not yet fully aware of the arrival of the angel  Donors – couples located just outside the room. The door is opened, they are in “public space” o More rare in Italian art but a lot of these devices in Netherlandish art  St. Joseph – working on his work Significance of the altar  Altar present when the church established  Priest was looking directly to the altarpiece  Master of Saint Giles, Mass of Sain Giles in the Abbey of Saint Denis with Charlesmagne, ca. 1440, Lond, National Gallery  The body of Christ take place th  At some point, in the late 14 century, the new junk of painting was place on top of the altar, there are no rules for that  New devotion, religious order  The altarpiece became the key painting in churches and key pieces make up of altar Jan and Hubert (?) van Eych, Ghent Altarpiece (Open), Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, 1432, 4.5x4.6m, oil on panel, Ghent, Cathedral of St. Bavo  Subject are complex, upper register – a representation of God the Father in thorn surrounded by the virgin and St. John the Baptist, angels on the side, adam and eve o Centre, on top of the altar, the lamb, with a hole, the blood comes out o Angels, members of the church, pastels, pagan who were converted to Christianity, holy spirit o God Father’s frame = holy spirit = lamb and altar Jan and Huber (?) van Eyck, The Ghent Altarpiece (closed)  Here, iconography are simple instead of colourful and complex  2 monochrome figures of St john the Baptist and 2 donors  At the top: annunciation  There is an inscription in the frame, discovered in 1832, not visible if in front of the altarpiece o Question mark for Hubert whether he is the real artists or not o They are brothers, but Hubert may be the person only doing the inscription since he does not have any other paintings Jan Van Eyck versus Masaccio – Adam and Eve  Linear perspective system allow the artists to paint in geometric and measurable space  The oil media technique didn’t allow the artist to construct this geometric space, o atmospheric perspective, something that is not measurable but seems right because of the colours Oil painting  Jan Van Eyck. Invented the new technique of painting – oil technique  A recognize figure use the oil medium technique in a very systematic way  Pigments were diluted in oil, so that it create a fluidity for the colour that can apply to the surface in many layers  The possibility to paint the surface to paint several layers of paint  Natural light with the colour enhance the translucent effect  Advantages: o Artists were able to make corrections and changes as the work progress o The different layer that the artist applied on the panels allows colour to become more vivid and brilliant – due to the natural light enhances the effect o Paint the delicate element and enhance the macro quality for the painting  Naturalism Jan van Eyck. The Arnolfini Portrait, 1434, oil on wood panel, London, National Gallery  Italian family, very successful, they have major artists in the city to work for them  Oil on panel, what it represents(iconography) is still a puzzle for us o Wedding cerebration? The promise doesn’t take place in a church o The women could be pregnant – the actual married took place in 1447 o Celebration of future the promise  Pieces of naturalism with the shoes here and the dogs on the grounds  Domestic setting, a bedroom, crystal chain with beads – prayers or meditation. Mirrors – the passion of Christ  The Mirror o Inscription: Jan Van Eyck was here, 1434 o Reflect people in front of the couples, one of the 2 people are Jan can Eyck coz he said I was there o Stand as witnesses o Rounded mirror – scenes of the passion of Christs (suffering) o Most advanced level thanks to the oil painting techniques Jan van Eyck, Portrait of a Man in Red Turban (Self-Portrait?), 1433, oil on wood panel, London National Galley  Inscription: As I can (but not as I would).  Anagrams of Jan van Eyck made  Could be interpreted that this is the self-portrait as the artists himself. Jan Van Eyck, Madonna with canon George Can der Paele, ST. George and ST. Donation 1436, oil on panel, 141x176.5cm, Groeninge Museum, Bruges th  The spectacles here: symbolic observation – first time spectacles were use in the 15 century, people didn’t like to be seen by the glasses or a need of eyeglasses  The bible is open and the spectacles are put on the bible itself o Showing He was using it for the moment  The spectacles functions symbolic as the fact that they magnify the texts, metaphor for the role of virgin o Magnification of virgin and Christ from being a divine figur
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