First published in 1993, Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait: Stories of an Icon examines one of the earliest and most celebrated paintings in the history of European art from a variety of perspectives. In her lucid analysis, Linda Seidel considers this famous double portrait as social record, legal document, material object, and poetic fiction. Each chapter of her study represents a distinct mode of inquiry and each situates the painting within a different discursive tradition. In this way, Seidel explores a variety of historical practices to illuminate the portrait’s painted narrative. Through the implementation of a variety of interpretive strategies and in consultation with different types and categories of information, Stories of an Icon informs the viewer about the function and nature of early European painting, and invites the reader to reflect on the many ways in which works of art can be examined and reconfigured centuries after their creation.
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