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”What a brilliant series this is” – Stephen Fry on Twitter 12 December 2020
”Thoroughly researched and cleverly presented, with stunning visuals, Great Art Explained makes you realise that familiarity with a work of art sometimes makes us indifferent to its power” – Forbes Magazine, 9 July 2020
I started ”Great Art Explained” during lockdown. My aim is to make videos which focus on one great artwork. I want to present art in a jargon free, entertaining, clear and concise way with no gimmicks.
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The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan Van Eyck has baffled art historians ever since it was painted in 1434. It has been dissected and analysed, maybe more than any other painting in history, and in the process, become even more mysterious.
During the medieval period, a rapid expansion in trade and commerce led to the rise of a new class, the incredibly wealthy and powerful merchant class.
Bruges in the 15th century was the hub of international trade, and people came from all over the world, wanting to get rich. Including the Arnolfinis from Lucca in Italy.
As those Merchants became richer, their appetite for social status grew. Consumerism was rampant and the ultimate way to show off your wealth was to commission a portrait. And by the 1430s, a portrait by Jan Van Eyke was the most exclusive status symbol
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Chinese subtitles: Charles Xue
Van Eyck – Maximiliaan Martens
Van Eyck and the founders of Early Netherlandish Painting – Otto Pacht
Arnolfini Portrait: Stories of an Icon – Linda Seidel
Girl in a Green Gown: the History and Mystery of the Arnolfini Portrait – Carola Hicks
A Stitch in Time –
The Arnolfini Portrait in 3D (computer Graphics used) by PH Jansen and M Ruttkay
Categories and Subject Descriptors (according to ACM CCS): 1.3.3 [Computer Graphics]: 3d modeling, cultural heritage
Intro music: JS Bach “Sonata for violin solo No.1 in G Minor”
The Arnolfini Portrait, National Gallery