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Jan van Eyck portrayed the Arnolfini family at the time of the marriage, the plot of the household. A man and a woman are standing opposite each other, a little deployed to the artist.
The situation in the room is home, slippers are standing, a small dog runs around the house. The painter displayed the room unusually, a view from above. The hands of the characters are connected, this gesture looks ritual, more like a given, and not as a manifestation of tenderness and love.
The whole composition is built around this gesture. The clothes of the characters are elegant and festive, the man raised his brush to shoulder level, which speaks of his oath. The mirror in the center of the picture displays light, creating an amazing glow, as a sign of the well-being of family life. A pair is displayed in the mirror, it is impossible to make out facial expressions, but you can definitely see that this is a young couple.
The couple Arnolfini were representatives of a wealthy family, this can be seen both in the situation and in their clothes. The girl’s dress is trimmed with fur, a long train is neatly laid out, she needs help when walking.
It is difficult to imagine a woman in such a dress working or just walking around the city. The bride may seem to be in position, but in fact in the Middle Ages this style of dress was in fashion, on the stomach it was necessary to collect fabric with folds.
The heroine holds her hand on her stomach - this is a sign of family unity. The color may seem gloomy, but for that time it was blue and green that symbolized fidelity and love.
In the face of the heroine, the artist depicted the ideal woman of an era. The implausibility of the size of the depicted objects in the room, the lack of a fireplace so necessary, all this shows the artist’s imagination. This room could not exist in reality.
Shoes near the man’s feet indicate that the groom does not belong to the nobility. The nobles rode in wheelchairs and did not get their feet dirty; they needed high-soled shoes.