Art History II- Take Home Final Exam
May 1, 2009
Section I: Late Gothic in the North
An artist conveys his message of his experiences through his
We, as the viewers, observe historical events through the
vision of the artist.
Every artist’s goal is to be modern, but at the same
time, acknowledge the pioneers of art.
Van Eyck’s works mainly appeared in altarpieces and prayer
books, but were surprisingly modern for the times.
Van Eyck was a
very gifted artist who was capable of understanding aerial perspective.
This involves the use of creating space with a large background.
Despite the fact that he had a better knowledge of perspective,
proportion, and creation of space than other contemporary northern
artists, his use of it was limited.
These distinct characteristics are
displayed in his work, the
This particular work is in a
triptych format, where each panel has an additional four panels, each
containing its own painting.
The figures in the painting, which include
Adam and Eve, the Virgin Mary, and John the Baptist, are painted with
a great deal of detail.
We can clearly see individual strands of hair on
John the Baptist’s beard.
Also, we can see each jewel on the crowns
and the end of the garments of God and the Virgin.
Similar to Campin,
Van Eyck uses symbolism.
Van Eyck’s use of symbolism is not to the
same extent of Campin’s.
In this work, symbolism is seen as the blood
coming out the chest into the cup, which symbolizes Christ.
brought him a great deal of
success and respect within the art community.
In doing so, he became
the most prominent painter of Tournai.
This work shows the
Annunciation in a tryptych format that takes place inside an
He was able to transform a religious and
symbolic moment into a casual occurrence that could appear to take
place regularly without any bit of awkwardness.
At the time, a feat like
this was unheard of.
Campin managed to accomplish this by
incorporating a technique known as “disguised symbolism.”
means that almost any and every object in the painting holds some
sort of religious value or alternate meaning other than face value.
example the books in front of Mary symbolize the Old and New
Also, the flowers in the vase symbolize Mary’s virginity.
is the first painting to depict symbols of this type.
His technique of disguised symbolism makes him stand out from other
artists of the same era.