The Arnolfini portrait #1
Playing with paper carpets
These rugs are printed on ordinary computer paper, scissor fringed and then very gently sanded a little to make the fringe sit here-and-there-ish and put a little bit of a bloom on the printing to represent the lie of carpet tufts. They have a fairly thin cardboard backing but only over the central section so that the paper all around can be made to flex over a little and look as though the carpet is thicker than it is.
So where is this carpet?
If you click on the mini pic below you will find this behind the lady in green.
I used this small bit in the painting to extrapolate some sort of design using repeats where possible. The hardest thing was trying to get the perspective sorted. I gave up in the end and copied the squarest motif I could find in each pattern and replicated them all over the place in the hope that some carpet a little like this would emerge.
The Jan-van-Eyck portrait of c 1434 is my base template for the bedroom I’m working on, updating it a little to around 1616. 182 years. A lot could happen in that time span, including the building being no more, but I’m imagining the room is still hanging around, though not in a brick building. I am using the colourings and adornments and the general design premise as a guide to dressing the room, whilst speculating what might be in the hidden half and ignoring the major symbolism of the original painting. It’s any old room that has passed through time with a little alteration here and there and a slightly ‘haunted by a past’ feel to it. This small image from Wikimedia is linked to the huge one at the National Gallery website which gives you the opportunity to zoom in and wander around the painting in vast detail. (Very interesting regarding costume as you can see the minute details of the lace, wrist bands and edging as well as head wear – his looks as though it’s black straw[?]) It is a fascinating and intricate portrait.
Links of interest
- The Art Chronicler blog – an item on the symbolism in the painting