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Word Count: 588
I have been looking at the Arnolfini portrait by Jan Van Eyck and by looking at the symbols gathered information about the background and history of the paining The portrait has its roots in the Northern Renaissance and is one of the more famous wedding portrait of the time because of the information it reveals through the many symbols One the first thing you can tell from looking at the paining is the position of the couple Giovanna is facing her husband in obedience reaching for her husband while Giovanni is looking away with his hand up indicating he has the authority which represents the gender roles during the 15th century As I first glanced at the painting Giovanna appeared to be pregnant but after reading about it I learned that the bulkiness from her dress represent the gothic fashion era of the time When moving my focus away from the couple I discovered the dog in the picture which I learnt represents fidelity between the couple- a symbol based on a dogs loyalty for its master Further the oranges displayed by Giovannis right arm tell us about the couples wealth Oranges had to be imported over seas and was thereby a luxury only to be enjoyed by the wealthy people There are many symbols in the portrait that gives us information about the society at the time and is therefore considered a valuable timepiece As a comparison to the wedding portrait by Jan Van Eyck I chose Rembrandts famous portrait The Jewish Bride painted in 1666 The portrait painted two centuries after the Arnolfini portrait also has a lot of symbolism of the gender roles of the time The portrait shows the husband leaning over his wife as he looks down on her touching her breast with one hand and holds the other arm around her Meanwhile the wife is tenderly putting her fingers over her husbands hand as a sign of
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