Europe 1300 - 1800
- Van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece (1 of 2)
- Jan van Eyck, The Ghent Altarpiece (2 of 2)
- Van Eyck, The Ghent Altarpiece
- Van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece
- Jan van Eyck, Portrait of a Man in a Red Turban (Self-Portrait?), 1433
- Jan van Eyck, The Madonna in the Church
- Van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait
- Van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait
- The question of pregnancy in Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait
Jan van Eyck, The Madonna in the Church, c. 1438, oil on oak, 31 x 14 cm (Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin). In the Google Art Project: http://www.googleartproject.com/collection/gemaldegalerie/artwork/the-madonna-in-the-church-jan-van-eyck/330338/. Created by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker.
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- In regards to the light source being mystical, isn't it possible the artist simply made a mistake and meant for that to be light pooling from the west windows? Not doubting the genius and beauty of this paining, but it appears van Eyck didn't fully understand perspective (or chose not to include it correctly).(13 votes)
- From the author:The orientation of churches is standard and would have been well understood by Van Eyck. In addition, Van Eyck was not working in isolation; had there been such an oversight, it would have been corrected. This is purposeful and consistent with the meaning of the panel. As to the lack of linear perspective, this was a technique only just being introduced in Florence. It was still unknown in the north in 1438.(20 votes)
- Why does the picture look like a puzzle?(1 vote)
- 1:33How do we know we are facing the east end of the church? Is this based on an actual church?(4 votes)
- In a previous video (perhaps when they were describing the cathedral at Chartres?), they mentioned that Gothic churches are always oriented with the altar at the east, so that the congregants would face the morning sun through the altar.(5 votes)
- Was Mary's virginity important?(1 vote)
- Yes it was.
God promised in the Old Testament that the Messiah (Jesus) would be born of a virgin.(12 votes)
- Due to the 1877 theft mentioned in02:25, has no one made an attempt to recreate another frame for this painting with the same inscription?(5 votes)
- @2:40what does that mean "As the sunbeam through the glass passes but not stains so the Virgin as she was a virgin still remains" mostly the part about the "Virgin as she was a virgin still remains"?(1 vote)
- This would, I believe, refer to the doctrine (teaching) of the 'perpetual virginity' of Mary : a doctrine which holds that throughout her whole life Mary remained virgo intacta, including at the actual point of giving birth to Christ (I would guess that this is alluded to in the 'passing through' part of the quote).. this is not a biblical teaching, but something which is has been taught by the church both east and west from about the fourth century onwards (though, as extra-biblical it is not held by most of the protestant church).(5 votes)
- In my view, it is a stretch to suggest the light coming THROUGH the windows symbolizes Mary's virginity. Wouldn't it more accurate to compare the delicate stained glass window mullions to be more representative of a woman's hymen? Mary may have been a virgin at conception, but would this physical condition still remain after giving birth? I give full points for your creative license in describing the Madonna in the Church.(2 votes)
- The ideas we offered were not our invention. Rather they are the ideas that were current in the art of van Eyck and his culture.(2 votes)
- Where is this painting currently found?(1 vote)
- We try to always list this sort of information right above the video. In this case, the painting is at the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin.(3 votes)
- why doesn't this look like Mary? and why did it say"a virgen still remains" she's married isn't she too Joseph?(0 votes)
- I'm re-posting from the above question - the answer applies here as well.
There is still considerable controversy about this issue. This is because there is still some debate over the verse in Isiah7:14, even in the time of the New Testament. "Therefore, the Lord, of His own, shall give you a sign; behold, the YOUNG WOMAN (caps mine) woman is with child, and she shall bear a son, and she shall call his name Immanuel." Others have translated this as "virgin".
If you'd like to explore the controversy check out the Wikipedia entry -
(piano music) Steven: There is this marvelous way that Jan van Eyck can create a sense of the real even when he's representing the impossible. Beth: Mary is impossibly large within this exceptionally beautiful and perhaps impossibly beautiful Gothic church. She fills this space, and is shown here as the Queen of Heaven, with a crown on her head, studded with jewels, and a gown embroidered with gold. We know what we have before us is a vision. A vision of Mary in a church not unlike the one that people would go to in the fifteenth century, which must have made this a very real vision. Steven: If we look to the far back, we can see this beautiful tracery, and within that wooden carving, we can actually see stories of the life of the Virgin Mary. Through the doorway we can also see two angels that seem to be singing from a hymnbook, and if we look just over Mary's left shoulder, we can see a sculpture that shows the Virgin Mary holding her son just as the Virgin Mary before us holds Christ. Beth: It's as though that sculpture in the niche behind Mary has come alive and is flesh and blood before us, and what makes this all so much more believable is what van Eyck is able to do with light. We see it flooding in the Gothic windows, and two pools of sunlight on the floor in front of Mary. We know that we're looking toward the east end of the church; therefore the light that we see reflected on the floor is coming from the windows on the north, and those spots of light would be impossible in that case, so the light must be mystical; supernatural. Steven: This painting is about the way that light passes through the great windows of a Gothic cathedral into its sacred interior space, because that functioned, in the medieval mind, as an important symbol of Mary's chastity; of her virginity. This is an ideal church. This architecture doesn't exist in the world, but is Jan van Eyck's fantasy of the perfect interior for Mary, to enthrone Mary. This is a way of representing the heavenly sphere in an environment that we can recognize. This painting was stolen in 1877, and although the panel itself was recovered, its frame was not. The frame, however, had an inscription, which was recorded, and it read as follows. "As the sunbeam through the glass passes but not stains, "so the Virgin as she was, a virgin still remains." (piano music)