Friday, November 22, 2013
The oil painting called “Portrait of a Man in a Turban”, was done by artist Jan van Eyck in 1433 and is one of my favourite art pieces. Jan van Eyck, born in 1390, was a Flemish painter and one of the most significant Northern European painters of the 15th century. He was particularly skilled in oil painting and was known for his incredibly life like details. Jan van Eyck produced many paintings for private clients but this is one of few that were thought to be a self-portrait. So, naturally he would be the audience at that time. Today, the audience (us) can view it and feel an air of mystery that comes with this painting. Why is he wearing a turban? When I look at his face I feel as if I may have known him, and his skin seems to glow through the canvas. Eyck utilizes his exception skills to create luxurious, velvet folds in the red fabric of his headdress, where most of the attention is, and only slightly hint to his torso using what seems to be Sfumato. As a side note, the painting also reads, “as I can” slightly hinting towards the emergence of self- confidence in him as he rose to fame.