A Closer Look at the Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and His Wife: A look into what people of this time peroid inserted in pictures and their double meanings.
In this paper I will be completing an iconographic analysis of the painting Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and His Wife (1434) by Jan van Eyke, but first I wanted to explain what iconography is. The general definition for iconography is a branch of art history that focuses on identification, description, classification, and interpretation of different artistic pieces and time periods. When looking in the Anno Domini Glossary which deals with terms in a more Christian context, it describes iconography as how the actual pieces of art or different symbols found within the pieces of art are representatives of Christian ideas, people, and history.
I think that iconographic analysis of images are important to art historians because it helps give a deeper understanding of the piece of art and what was going on at the time the art was made. I think it helps solve some of the mysteries for art historians of some of the things that might have been going on at the time that could not be written or said. I also think it adds another dimension to the piece of art once you know what the icons symbolize.
That is exactly how I felt after doing this iconographic analysis for the Portrait of Giovanni and His Wife by Jan van Eyke. It is almost like it went from two dimensional to three dimensional after researching this painting. I was initially interested in this portrait because of the style of dress and the intimate moment of the two people holding hands. I also thought the woman was pregnant and the dogs' presence in the picture must mean it was a beloved pet. Then I read some of the material on this painting and found out that almost every object incorporated into this picture has a deeper meaning.