‘I should think it’s the finest picture in the world.’
Burne-Jones on the Arnolfini Portrait (19 February 1897)
Acquired by the National Gallery in 1842, Jan van Eyck’s 'Arnolfini Portrait' with its rich colours, precise detail, and enigmatic symbolism had a profound and lasting impact upon the young Pre-Raphaelite artists who banded together six years later to challenge the art establishment of the day. Fascination with Van Eyck’s painting persisted in artistic circles and the public imagination alike, and the 'Arnolfini Portrait' came to achieve almost cult-like status in the ongoing discussions around the art-historical canon. Van Eyck’s potent influence on the avant-garde painting of the PRB initiated a transhistorical visual dialogue whose ramifications can be traced throughout the development of the Pre-Raphaelite movement and beyond.
Organised in conjunction with the exhibition Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites, this conference will explore the complexities of the relationship between Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites. Areas to be explored may include: Netherlandish art and its 19th-century reception, conservation and technique, colour, mirrors and mirroring, painting and literature, photography, magic and the supernatural.
Convened by Professor Liz Prettejohn (University of York) and Dr Claire Yearwood.