Presentation Title

Reflections on van Eyck: The Meaning of Mirrors in Portraiture

Presentation Type

Presentation

Full Name of Faculty Mentor

Aneilya Barnes, History, and Stephanie Miller, Visual Arts

Major

Art Studio

Second Major

Graphic Design

Presentation Abstract

Mirrors in paintings have many connotations. Mirrors can extend the pictorial space, reveal hidden imagery, represent social and cultural value, or function symbolically. This project focuses on the convex mirror in Jan van Eyck's The Arnolfini Portrait (1434) and considers its influence on Diego Velázquez's Las Meninas (1656). Van Eyck places the mirror centrally in the composition, showing his reflection below the unusual display of a signature on the wall and inviting interpretation and comparison between the portrait and mirror. Over two centuries later, van Eyck's innovations, including the mirror motif, inspired Velázquez's inclusion of a central mirror next to a self-portrait. This research examines the significance of mirrors in van Eyck's and Velázquez's portraits, situating them within the context of other paintings with mirrors created between 1434 and 1656, to help determine their broader appeal.

Location

Room 2

Start Date

21-4-2021 4:10 PM

End Date

21-4-2021 4:30 PM

Disciplines

Fine Arts

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Apr 21st, 4:10 PM Apr 21st, 4:30 PM

Reflections on van Eyck: The Meaning of Mirrors in Portraiture

Room 2

Mirrors in paintings have many connotations. Mirrors can extend the pictorial space, reveal hidden imagery, represent social and cultural value, or function symbolically. This project focuses on the convex mirror in Jan van Eyck's The Arnolfini Portrait (1434) and considers its influence on Diego Velázquez's Las Meninas (1656). Van Eyck places the mirror centrally in the composition, showing his reflection below the unusual display of a signature on the wall and inviting interpretation and comparison between the portrait and mirror. Over two centuries later, van Eyck's innovations, including the mirror motif, inspired Velázquez's inclusion of a central mirror next to a self-portrait. This research examines the significance of mirrors in van Eyck's and Velázquez's portraits, situating them within the context of other paintings with mirrors created between 1434 and 1656, to help determine their broader appeal.

https://digitalcommons.coastal.edu/ugrc/test1/test1track/88