Renaissance Paintings by Jan Van Eyck and Filippo Lippi Essay

October 14, 2020 by Essay Writer

Renaissance Paintings Jan Van Eyck – Portrait of a Man in Turban

Jan Eyck was an artist from Northern Europe. He worked on many paintings, but one of his most outstanding paintings is the portrait of a man in turban which he did in 1443. This artwork is thought to be his own reflection. Jan was perceived to be the pioneer of using oil paints in this region.

The image is two-dimensional because we can only see the front side and the top side. By just looking at the image, it is clear that Jan Van Eyck was a very religious person owing to the turban on his head.

The difference between the background and the foreground of the image is difficult to determine because the dark coloring has overlapped the other elements. However, the same darkness has been used to create an outline of the image. The artist used more contrast on the areas that he needed to highlight.

If there was more contrast in the entire image, a balance would have been achieved (Sider 67). This is because the image covers only one half of the frame.

The shadowing is used to block other characters in the image because the artist wanted the viewers to focus on his personality portrayed in the image (Levy 7). The same shadowing is applied on the turban to create texture. More texture has been created by the smooth lines that are on the surface of the turban to create an impression of the folds in the garment.

The outline of the turban is used to create an impression on the size of the headgear. However, the outline is blended with the background to create a smooth edge. There is an aspect of sequence in this image with regard to appearance.

When the viewer glances at the image, darkness is the first aspect to be seen followed by the bright face. The source of light flows from the left side of the image and that is why the other body parts such as ears cannot be seen.

Filippo Lippi – The Madonna and Child

Filippo was another renaissance painter who was born and brought up in Italy. He is was a renowned artist who worked on the Madonna and Child 1440-1445 painting. In this painting, there is a woman who is holding a baby that is placed on a platform, but her image dominates the entire image.

The image has two dimensions because there is height and width (Paoletti and Radke 14). The colors used on the lady’s garments are of high value as opposed to those used on the child’s clothing. Both vertical and horizontal lines have been repeated to create smooth texture and smooth edges.

The colors that are used in the image are much related and thus they create an element of unity. The images are also connected to each other. The lady is linked to the child through her hand and the child is seated on the platform. The background is not blended with the outline of the image.

This argument can be verified by looking at the right hand of the woman, which is overlapped by the body of the child. There would be no balance in the image if the child were not present because the woman seems to lean towards the left side as seen from the woman’s tilted head and the elbow.

However, the position of the child compensates for the imbalance that the woman creates. The lines have been used to separate colors to make sure that each color is distinct (Bayer 1). However, this is only applied on the woman’s garments. The background is made up of several colors that are of low value.

Light is evenly distributed in the image expect on the lower right hand side where the baby creates an obstruction. The image has an aspect of religion which is evidenced by the background of the image. The background represents renaissance architecture where arcs were used and the technique was common in religious buildings. Moreover, the garments worn by the lady represent an element of fashion.

Works Cited

Bayer, Andrea. Northern Italian Renaissance Painting. 2000. Web. <>

Levy, Janey. Renaissance Paintings: Using Perspective to Represent Three Dimensional Paintings. New York: Rosen Classroom, 2005. Print.

Paoletti, John, and Radke Gary. Art in Renaissance Italy. 3rd ed. London: Lawrence King Publishing, 2005. Print.

Sider, Sandra. Handbook to Life in Renaissance Europe. New York: InfoBase Publishing, 2005. Print.

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