Book Detail

Publisher: Maria Pacini Fazzi Editore

Format: hardcover

ISBN: 978-88-7246-976-7

Jan Van Eyck alla conquista della rosa

Il Matrimonio 'Arnolfini' della National Gallery di Londra Soluzione di un enigma

When Jan Van Eyck painted a married couple in a bedroom, handing them down to posterity in this wonderful work of art, now an icon of the National Gallery of London, he would have never thought that this painting could become so controversial: for many years the most supported theory about the identity of those depicted affirms that that the two are the Arnolfini couple from Lucca (without any evidence for this precious commission), but many questions have continued to circle unresolved around this enigmatic masterpiece. One by one, Marco Paoli confutes all the arguments of this “orthodox” thesis, to finally demonstrate that they are not the Arnolfini couple, but the painter himself with his wife Margaretha; a self portrait that is a celebration of their first male son; a heretic and fascinating theory that removes the icon from its historical context, as Paoli admits.

The author explains that how a signature, different from others, did not lead to the identification of the Van Eyck couple, but in reality it should be read as a game of anagrams, mistakenly leading to identify Giovanni Arnolfini as one the subjects in the picture. But many fascinating questions are proposed and also many answers can be found in this study, leading the reader amongst the plots of a thriller in a 15th century culture: can common elements like a brush, a vase with lilies, oranges, cherries or a pair of clogs lead to a hidden symbology?  What can be understood of the pose of the couple in the foreground and of the figures reflected in the mirror? And again what is the interpretation of the erotic symbology related to the famous poem “Le Roman de la Rose”, and if, like Paoli demonstrates, we apply this decoding to the double portrait?

To this and other questions, the author answers through a fascinating iconological analysis sustained by any clue that can be found in the international debate.

160+LII format 21×28 color illustrations, 2010

Maria Pacini Fazzi Editore

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