The Arnolfini Portrait
The Arnolfini Portrait is a painting in oils on oak panel executed by the Early Netherlandish painter Jan van Eyck in 1434. Among other titles, it is also known as "The Arnolfini Wedding", "The Arnolfini Marriage", "The Arnolfini Double Portrait" or the "Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife".
This painting is believed to be a portrait of Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini and his wife in a room, presumably in their home in the Flemish city of Bruges. It is considered one of the most original and complex paintings in Western art history. Being both signed and dated by Van Eyck in 1434, it is, with the Ghent Altarpiece by the same artist and his brother Hubert, the oldest very famous panel painting to have been executed in oils rather than in tempera. The painting was bought by the National Gallery in London in 1842.
The illusionism of the painting was remarkable for its time, in part for the rendering of detail, but particularly for the use of light to evoke space in an interior, for "its utterly convincing depiction of a room, as well of the people who inhabit it".
Artist David Hockney and physicist Charles M. Falco theorise that Van Eyck made use of optical devices such as camera obscura to create at least part of the painting in what has become known as the Hockney¨CFalco thesis.