Reflections Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites Alison Smith, Susan Foister, Anna Koopstra

Publication date:
03 Oct 2017
National Gallery London
96 pages: 267 x 210mm
70 color + b-w illus.

In 1842, Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait (1434) was acquired by the National Gallery in London. It quickly exerted an influence on British artists, none more so than the young painters of the nascent Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, who were drawn to van Eyck’s luminous palette, attention to detail, and refined manipulation of oil paints. This book presents the Arnolfini Portrait with a selection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings it inspired. The authors explore how Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Sir John Everett Millais, and William Holman Hunt, among others, were influenced by the Arnolfini Portrait, informing their belief in empirical observation and inspiring them to explore how everyday objects could be endowed with symbolic meanings. 

Alison Smith is the lead curator of nineteenth-century British art at Tate Britain. Susan Foister is deputy director and curator of early Netherlandish, German, and British paintings at the National Gallery, London. Anna Koopstra is the Simon Sainsbury Curatorial Assistant (Paintings before 1500) at the National Gallery, London.