Tag Archives: Jan van Eyck

From mirror to room


a story in pictures

Rather than blog the minutiae of each stage of  the interpretation of this room, I plumped for a kaleidoscope of images on the cartoon model illustrating some of the steps in building my version of the van Eyck room.

Hovering on a photo shows any caption that’s been added, and if you click on any image it will take  you to a gallery view.

I hope you enjoy the splash of colour and imagery of the mosaic layout.

The are many articles discussing the symbolism within the van Eyck painting and I find myself adding my own; for example two, much used candles in the chandelier, two faithful pets (might add the third), a pair of birds at the window.  Make of them what you will.

On with the people, when I can get my brain together 😉

Part 3 – Bed Dressing Day


Ah, my life measured in charity shop purchases

This one is a Viscose, closely woven scarf bought locally for a few pence.  Although orangey-red in tone it has dark red embroidery.  It’s soft and hangs fairly well but has to be stitched/glued in place to give it a little more weight.

The bed is heavily bedecked in the painting, with all sides, including the head end, draped with curtaining.  It’s quite hard to decide whether it’s a 6 or 8 curtained job.  I suspect 8, but will stick with 6, thereby leaving the 1/12 scale bed head uncurtained as it has detailed panelling and I’d like to leave it relatively uncovered.

The ‘bedspread’ is filled out with an oblong, boxy mattress shape stuffed with off-cuts from a duvet jacket factory.  I made the whole thing longer than needed so the top end could be bent over and tacked down to create a bolster shape for under the coverlet.

(Must go and sort out the floating carpet and the mysteriously opening storage chest under the window.  Bit spooky – looks like we’re expecting a wee skeletal hand to come forth.)

On with the room – part 2


A semi-closed box experience

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Having pre-prepped the mirror (oh so long ago – 18 months – more?), there were the rosary and the ‘whisk’ items to be made and a decision on whether to add some sort of signature/message in place of J van Eyck’s graffito.

Using whatever vaguely Medieval font I could find (a bit of a mix and match actually), I printed it out on tracing and ordinary papers to see what could be done.  I held one up, I held up another, I applied one with square edges to the cut paper it was on, one that papered the whole wall so there were no joins showing …  You get the idea.  Giving up, I went for one that is cut out and clarted to the wall declaring itself as a stuck piece of paper.  It’s poorly translated Latin and roughly says “Thrown together in 2014”, using the ‘J’ from Jan with its exuberant flourish above as a large capital ‘I’.

The taller of the 2 chairs is on a horrid platform to give a little more height in relation to its neighbours and this platform hopefully will be mostly eclipsed by the figure that’s eventually to go in front of it.

After the decision making process re which bed to use I’ve gone back to the big dark one as it is tall enough in relation to the ceiling and most of it will not be seen other than through the windows.  Very little of it is visible in the painting.

Next job is dressing the bed.

Why the ‘semi-closed box’ reference?  The painting is a fixed and blinkered pov which I hope to create via an opening only just wide enough to capture that point of view as closely as possible.  The rest should be just about viewable via the windows.

Interpretations of the portrait:

Adapting/adopting from an inspirational theme


The Arnolfini portrait #1

Playing with paper carpets

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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.

theinfill dolls house blog - van Eyck Arnolfini portrait

The Arnolfini carpet

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 theinfill dolls house blog - Medieval, Tudor, Elizabethan, Jacobean - the Arnolfini portraitworking 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.

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