The 1616 inhabitants


The inheritors of the Arnolfini room

If we’re not, with the painting, in 1434, when are we now? Well, time-line speaking, we’re half way between the Gunpowder Plot (1605) and the accession of Charles I to the throne (1625), or if you fancy something a little bit more ‘continental’ think vaguely musketeer-ish with an admix of my scrappy imagination.

Here we meet our two characters who appear in a much less formal situation than the portrait, as they help each other to go about their early morning tasks in the van Eyck bedroom.  Fashion and life have changed.

For the man of the house

Making sure there’s a large hat available, I’ve otherwise gone off the trail and put him in his night/under shirt whilst adding in a fur edged over warmer to echo a little of the fur edged surcoat of the original. There’s a clothes horse behind him wearing the big black hat and a cloak, bringing in a little of the dark silhouette of the original figure.  No night cap/bonnet as he has some nice bumps and hollows to his skull.

This gent is one of Nicky Bott’s lovely figures, but I swapped his feet for a pair from a Heidi Ott figure as Nicky’s gent came with his boots on and I needed bare feet.

For the woman of the house

For centuries, folk would store special garments or trimmings for future morphing into something else.  In the last 30-40 years people have stopped doing this, with the possible exception of wedding dresses. So, in imagination, I’ve ‘cut up’ the Medieval gown of the painting and let its colours and trim dictate the house gown.

I think she is one of the kits from DCT Miniature Fashions, with apologies if I’ve got that wrong.

Other pieces of garb

theinfill - Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - J van Eyck's Arnolfini portrait - Dr Scholls footwear

There are two pairs of, what I take to be, pattens or overshoes (his and hers – his being muddy on their v pointy tip!).   Considering when the painting was created it appears to depict a pair of red Dr Scholl look-alikes that I recognise from the days I had a pair.  What I ended up making is distressing, but that’s the way it goes.  I rounded the gent’s wooden pattens to echo the ‘current’ shoe shape rather than Medieval pointy ones.

The happy couple

Now all they need is their bedroom.

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