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Distributed for Reaktion Books

Jan van Eyck

The Play of Realism, Second Updated and Expanded Edition

Expanded

Distributed for Reaktion Books

Jan van Eyck

The Play of Realism, Second Updated and Expanded Edition

Expanded

The surviving work of Flemish painter Jan van Eyck (c. 1395–1441) consists of a series of painstakingly detailed oil paintings of astonishing verisimilitude. Most explanations of the meanings behind these paintings have been grounded in a disguised religious symbolism that critics have insisted is foremost. But in Jan van Eyck, Craig Harbison sets aside these explanations and turns instead to the neglected human dimension he finds clearly present in these works. Harbison investigates the personal histories of the true models and participants who sat for such masterpieces as the Virgin and Child and the Arnolfini Double Portrait.

This revised and expanded edition includes many illustrations and reveals how van Eyck presented his contemporaries with a more subtle and complex view of the value of appearances as a route to understanding the meaning of life.


272 pages | 49 color plates, 88 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2012

Art: Art--Biography, Art--General Studies


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Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition
1. Introduction
2. Van Eyck’s Realism
3. The Artist’s Place at the Burgundian Court
4. An Italian Courtier’s Story
5. The Ecclesiastical Compact of a Secular Canon
6. Private Devotion in a Schismatic Church
7. The Function of Religious Belief for van Eyck
8. The Doctrine of Mary
9. The Sacrament of the Altar
10. The Patrons of Domestic Religious Imagery
11. The Confession of Chancellor Nicolas Rolin
12. Patronage by Burgundian Court Functionaries
13. Literary Sources for van Eyck’s Art
14. Physical Format and Verbal Inscription
15. A Litany to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
16. Architectural Style and Sculptural Symbolism
17.Van Eyck’s Modern Icon
18. The Image and Experience of Pilgrimage
19. Pretence and Scepticism in the Fifteenth Century
20. A Different Perspective in the Ghent Altarpiece
21. The Interpretation of Early Netherlandish Painting
Afterword: Jan van Eyck, Modern Painter

Bibliographic Commentary
Bibliography
Acknowledgements
List of Illustrations
Index

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