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Word Count: 588
I have been looking at the Arnolfini portrait by Jan Van Eyck andby looking at the symbols gathered information about the background andhistory of the paining The portrait has its roots in the NorthernRenaissance and is one of the more famous wedding portrait of the timebecause of the information it reveals through the many symbols One thefirst thing you can tell from looking at the paining is the position ofthe couple Giovanna is facing her husband in obedience reaching for herhusband while Giovanni is looking away with his hand up indicating hehas the authority which represents the gender roles during the 15thcentury As I first glanced at the painting Giovanna appeared to be pregnantbut after reading about it I learned that the bulkiness from her dressrepresent the gothic fashion era of the time When moving my focus awayfrom the couple I discovered the dog in the picture which I learntrepresents fidelity between the couple- a symbol based on a dogsloyalty for its master Further the oranges displayed by Giovannis right arm tell us about thecouples wealth Oranges had to be imported over seas and was thereby aluxury only to be enjoyed by the wealthy people There are many symbolsin 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 choseRembrandts famous portrait The Jewish Bride painted in 1666 Theportrait painted two centuries after the Arnolfini portrait also has alot of symbolism of the gender roles of the time The portrait shows thehusband leaning over his wife as he looks down on her touching herbreast with one hand and holds the other arm around her Meanwhile thewife is tenderly putting her fingers over her husbands hand as a signof trust The husbands firm and decisive grip around his wifesshoulder symbolizes that he is the one responsible for her safety whilehis position of looking down
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