Jan van Eyck

The Play of Realism

Craig Harbison

Jan van Eyck
Distribution by the University of Chicago Press only to customers in the USA and Canada. Customers elsewhere should visit the UK website of Reaktion Books.

Craig Harbison

Distributed for Reaktion Books

228 pages
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780948462795 Published June 1997 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
Jan van Eyck’s surviving work comprises a series of painstakingly detailed oil paintings of astonishing verisimilitude. In a fascinating recovery of the neglected human dimension that is clearly present in these works, Craig Harbison interrogates the personal histories of the worldly participants of such masterpieces as the Virgin and Child with George van der Paele, the Arnolfini Double Portrait and the Virgin and Child with Nicolas Rolin. With the aid of abundant visual evidence in color and in black and white, Harbison 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.

"I found this an enthralling study"—The Sunday Telegraph

"A fascinating investigation into the nature of the great pioneer’s clients ... some fine photo details"—Art Review
Preface and Acknowledgements
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
Bibliographic Commentary
List of Illustrations
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