Class Notes (811,170)
Canada (494,539)
Art (527)
FAH230H1 (65)


6 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto St. George
Trevor Purvis

The Merode Altarpiece: Made by the Workshop of Master of Flemalle in 1425-30, 64.5 X 27.6, Oil on Wood and in New York Metropolitan Museum. In the centre piece we have the annunciation of the virgin and in this image we have regular household equipments and there are several details in this image that tell the story in full. Like the water in the niche in the background alludes to the purity of the virgin Mary. This was the moment Angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will be the mother of Christ. THis was the moment before Christ entered into her body. The shawl hanging in the background is not a regular shawl instead it is a Jewish shawl; part of the Jewish ritual of praying. Each ten in this painting has a symbolic reference in relation to the iconography being displayed here. Another important thing to note is that on the left panel we see the two donors of this work of art kneeling before an open door and within an enclosed garden. These donors therefore were seeing a vision of their prayer, this vision is being display in the center panel. Not he right we see Joseph working in his workshop. In the back of Joseph, we can see outside and we have a view of the city. We see the inside of a domestic workshop and household but then also we can see the outside, the city. The narratives in this work were not constructed according to the system of the linear perspective. We cannot measure the space; this type of perspective is called an Intuitive Perspective: It works visually but not mathematically or geometrically constructed. This is connected to the oil painting technique. Oil Painting Technique: Pigments are diluted in linseed oil. Oil paint is translucent when applied in thin layers called glazes. Light striking a surface build up of glazes penetrates to the lower layers and is reflected back, creating the appearance of an interior glow.Oil creates the effect of luminosity and make colours more vivid. It also helps artists to be able to correct and make changes on the work. it allows artists a certain kind of flexibility and to render a lot of meticulous details. Master of Saint Giles. Mass of Saint Giles in the Abbey of Saint Denis with Charlamagne, ca. 1440, London, National Gallery ==> Altar pieces are made to be on the altar ==> Altars are dedicated to a saint and are unmovable In the Renaissance, throughout the mass, the priest was facing the altar and the altarpiece; this is different from the earlier times where the priest usually faces away from the altar. Therefore in the Renaissance, the altar piece and the priest have a relationship and this lets us to think about devotional and religious subjects. Another example of an altar piece is Jan and Hubert van Eyck, The Ghent Altarpiece, Annuciation with donors, 1432, OIl on panel, Ghent, Cathedral of St. Bavo ==> The inscription on this piece states the names of the artists, the year he worked on it, and the donors. ==> When the altarpiece is closed, we see the two donors with John the Baptist and John the Evangelist. They are painted as if they are statues and not with colour. We have a muted colour because we have the mom chrome and only the two colours are rendered in colour which is different from what we see when the altarpiece is open. Opened (jan and Hubert Van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, 1432, 3.5 X 4.6m), Oil on Panel, Ghent, Cathedral of St. Bavo), we see colours everywhere. ==> Opened, we see God the Father, the virgin Mary, the choir and instrumentalists, Adam and Eve, on the bottom panels we see scenes coming from he book of Revelation, we have apostles and those born before Christ; in the centre is the fountain of life, etc. ==> It is an altarpiece constituted of several panels and they were made using the oil painting technique and it has an accurate rendering of the landscape. ==> Open vs Closed, The same artist, different landscape, same intuitive perspective, same oil painting, different colours. ==> Massacio's Adam and Eve vs Van Eyck's Adam and Eve: Both are nude. THe same people rendered in different ways (Masscaio's Fresco, Van Eyck's oil painting), both are rendered against a dark background. There is accuracy in rendering their faces, both are 3 dimensional, there is a sense of Space in Massacio's but not in VanEyck. Jan Van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait, 1434, Oil on wood panel, London, National Gallery ==> Rendered in a domestic space, a bedroom. They are rendered in very modern and luxurious clothing. Arnolfini is dressed in a long gown with fur and his wife in a gown sweeping the flow with extra fabric. The dog is also there symbolizing fidelity OR funerary association. It seems like just a portrait of a wealthy couple yet the lady is showing her pregnant belly; it might then seem like the portrait is celebrating her pregnancy. Unfortunately, this couple only got married in 1447 so there is a discrepancy of dates. One can thus read the portrait as a commemoration of the death of his first wife that died in child birth before 1447. Oher scholars have also suggested that this portrait might be a celebration of a contract. In the Renaissance, in other for 2 individuals to get married, there was a contract. There has to be money before they could get married, in order for a woman to marry she has to be well off, same with men. Marriages at the time weren't just based on love, was based on politics and economic alliances. This portrait therefore could be just the celebration of the promise between these two individuals. In the painting, we see a mirror with an inscription with says "Jan Van Eyck was here", this sort of inscription is unusual. The mirror reflects the back of the couple and the door in front of them and two individuals entering that door or stand by the door. Scholars have suggested that one of the two people was Jan Van Eyck which then makes his "I Was There" inscription meaning; I painted this but I WAS THERE. The painting seem to be very much about the two individuals that witnessed the event which could then be a contract. By the mirror, we see the crystal prayer beads and the details around the mirror show the passion of the Christ and this could mean that the painting renders piety and some christian translation and belief within the household. Jan Van Eyck, Portrait of Man in a Red Turban (Self-Portrait?), 1433, Oil on Wood Panel, London National Gallery Some scholars belief that this is just a regular man in a turban. OThers belief that it is a portrait of Jan Van Eyck because there are inscriptions
More Less

Related notes for FAH230H1

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.