Moving on with the second half of the Great Hall but it’s all one ‘tickle’ at a time, then waiting for things to set and/or dry – or even both.
I was drawn to the Van Eyck painting for this room because of the bed and its hangings. It’s a good hundred years too early for the project but a four-poster is a four-poster. Nearly everything in the room is a symbol of some aspect of life, marriage and death, but putting that and the actual date aside, the room and contents are fascinating and I hope to use as much as I can of it in the small space I’ve allocated for the room. More of that later.
Today I’m interested in the famous mirror
This has scenes from the Life of Christ (or at least I think that’s what they are). I have a yen for a convex mirrorch might have some similarity to the Arnolfini one but finding an adequately convex mirror at a small enough scale is proving difficult. I’d tried the back of an old camping spoon, a bit of a Christmas bauble, tough metal foil – none were going to sit quite right in a round frame.
For my birthday recently, my daughter bought me a dolls’ house accessories book and on the cover is a composite shot of some of the items made and bits used in the making. So I’m staring at this and what should jump out at me but what seems to be a very small convex shiny shape. The back of a metal plate! I hurtled off to the wee drawer where I hoard the items for dressing the set. The best, assessed by largest, shiniest and least blemished, that I can find is the reverse of one of the ubiquitous Tudor Rose plates.
No longer watching the paint dry
With this in hand I set to work armed with mountboard, compass, ruler and craft knives. It took a whole morning to work out where to cut and where to leave, how faithful to the actual shaping to be and to measure it out and eventually dare to take a knife to it. I must have adjusted/changed the measurements half a dozen times
The painting’s mirror has ten scenes but because of size restrictions and a wish to keep as much of the shape/look, I’ve reduced it to eight. Scenes from Christ’s Life are digi-cut from medieval paintings and illuminated books and taken down to 0.6cms – v fiddly to place straight but leaving the images just about recognisable for what they are.
The cardboard frame is painted many times over – I tried to get the shades of colour from the image blow up, but of course, that depends on the reproduction you’re using for your source material. The reversed plate rim forms the salmon pink area in the frame. The convex area is definitely not as big as I would have liked and the whole will receive a few more coats of this and that, but at the end of the day’s session I felt it was reasonably on its way. What do ya think?
Related articles – internal
- Ideas and Inspirations – art as a starting point
- Great Hall – in oh, so many parts (first half has 4, I think)
- Great Hall the sequel – an enlargement section doubling the size
- Miniature things – a model blog item – one of the fireplaces
Related articles – external
- Jan Van Eyck’s Arnolfini “Wedding” Portrait – symbolism and meaning
- Poetry Challenge The Arnolfini Marriage (bookstains.wordpress.com)
- Van Eyck at the National Gallery