I know this is a bold title, and after you’re done reading it you may be like “Wow really Zoey seriously? A painting?” but if you know me, than you know this is no ordinary painting.
This is the Arnolfini Double Portrait by Jan van Eyck from the Northern Renaissance. Now, this may look like a picture of two people who look an awful lot like Vladimir Putin, but believe me, its way more than just that. I can write an entire separate humongous blog post about the symbolism behind this painting, but in short, literally every single object in this painting has symbolism and sometimes more than one meaning.
Why does this painting matter so much to me?
This is the painting that got me into Art History. My art history teacher in high school showed this to us when I was a freshman and taught an entire lecture on it. While everyone else was either sleeping or not paying attention, I was riveted. I took obsessive amount of notes and went even further by researching it on my own. I have written about this painting and have read multiple books on it. To say that this painting changed my life is an understatement.
When I saw it, my breath leapt out of my chest. I burst into tears (my friends with me laughed). If you find it weird that I cry for paintings, its just something I do. Seeing paintings in the flesh is like meeting celebrities to me. I read all about these paintings and then I get to see them up close? Its life changing. I cry for architecture, sculptures, paintings; anything I’ve studied. And sometimes things I haven’t studied but just find particularly beautiful. I feel passionately about a lot of things ok???
What was even better is that I got to explain to my friends EVERYTHING I KNEW about this painting. It is always a delight when I can go around and educate people about art. Its what I study and live for! What was even cooler was that the guard saw how excited I was and showed us some secrets about the painting and including how you can start to see through the painting because its deteriorating. He was super sweet about it and even offered to take a picture of me and my friends with the painting.
With the exception of David Bowie, the king, being dead, today was a life changing day. RIP
Have a day filled with kittens, Okay?