Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini portrait
A complex window simplified for 1:12 scale
1:12 scale the room may be, but my window is not in true proportion to the original, which is much slimmer. The room is planned to be a semi-closed job, with small areas through which one can view. Because of this I needed the window to be wider in order to provide the image I’m seeking from this aspect of the room.
There was no way I could reproduce the glazing and so I went for a general look: firstly so that I could use what stock I’d got to hand and secondly to save my sanity. I’m hoping this still gives the general feel of the colouring and design. It all comes down to the compromise between scale, practicality, my already strained beginner’s capacities and the eye of the beholder.
I started building the window with wood stained timber, matching the rest of the existing model, but disliked it so much that I ripped it all out and started again, even though it was almost done.
The new window in lighter surrounds (trying to echo the light stone/brickwork) certainly reminds me more of the portrait than my last attempt. Less brooding and more ‘sunny’ looking. I’ve also rebuilt the glazing – again. It would have been better if the glass looked a little more ‘boiled sweet-ish’ and a little less opaque, but I can live with it .
The ‘orrible’ first attempt with yucky edgings
Too rigid, dark and unsatisfactory
I’ve kept the lower 2/3 open and unglazed with the 3 pairs of shutters which cover the whole of the window when needed (though these won’t close and are far boxier than the long, elegant shapes in the painting).
The little things that make you smile
I’ve been giggling to myself all afternoon simply because one of the shutters in the painting appears to be missing but I think it’s because it’s being viewed edge on. I’d wanted to try for similar angles of viewing and can just about get the ‘invisible’ shutter end on when standing in the same position as a viewer of the painting.
Ah, the little things in life!