Events | Arcadia Charity Talk 4: The Arnolfini Portrait from the National Gallery

Talk 4 is the early Northern Renaissance masterpiece The Arnolfini Portrait by Flemish Master Jan van Eyck. Painted in oil on oak in 1434, the work has triggered no end of Art Historical discourse, with more recently discovered evidence pushing former scholarly theory into touch. A myriad of questions immediately arise upon close inspection: who are they? where are they? is this a homespun wedding or a grave funereal piece? what does the dog symbolise? what do we see in the mirror? what is written above the mirror?

Full title: The Arnolfini Portrait Artist: Jan van Eyck Date made: 1434 Source: Contact: Copyright © The National Gallery, London

The Irish poet Eavan Frances Boland tried to make sense of the painted portrait in acrostic terms:

Read her poem Domestic Interior accompanied by Nick’s Analysis of the poem.

Follow a coded Map of Meaning to learn more about the artist’s use of iconography.

Watch a Film Clip on the art work.

To learn more about the artist Jan van Eyck read Nick’s Artist’s Fact File

The work itself has led to extensive Scholarly Debate

The Talk itself:

If you missed the talk or would like to listen again, please find an audio clip below:


To donate your £5 to the NHS for joining Talk 4: