Arnolfini Histories:
Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait
and its Receptions

The National Gallery, London,
in collaboration with
the University of York

Friday 12 – Saturday 13 January 2018

Friday 12  January 

10.00-10.30 – Registration, with coffee/tea

10.30-10.45 – Welcome:  Gabriele Finaldi (National Gallery)

Introduction by Liz Prettejohn (University of York)

10.45-12.45 – Panel Ⅰ: Mirrors, Arnolfini and Others
Chair: Liz Prettejohn (University of York)

Claire Yearwood (University of York)
Reversing the Requirement of Science: Pre-Raphaelite Reflections of Van Eyck’s Mirror

Maria Rosa Figueiredo (Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon)
Beyond the Mirror’: An Exhibition with Mirrors in Mind

Robert Upstone (independent scholar)
Mirrors in the Work of William Orpen

12.45-2.00 – Lunch (not provided)

2.00-4.15 – Panel Ⅱ: Eastlake, the Pre-Raphaelites, and the Renaissance
Chair: Charles Martindale (University of Bristol)

Susanna Avery-Quash (National Gallery)
Eastlake encounters Van Eyck (1828-1865): Contextualising Charles Eastlake’s Research into Jan van Eyck’s Techniques and Purchases of his Work for the National Gallery

Marika Spring (National Gallery)
Eastlake encounters van Eyck (1828-1865): Charles Eastlake’s Documentary Research on Early Netherlandish Oil Painting Technique in the Context of 21st-Century Scientific Analyses

Jason Rosenfeld (Marymount Manhattan College)
New Art from Old: The Pre-Raphaelites and Early Italian Painting

Joyce Townsend (Tate)
Reflections: ‘Il Dolce far Niente’ and other paintings

4.15-4.30 – Break (no refreshments)

4.30-5.30 – Plenary Ⅰ
Introduction: Claire Yearwood (University of York)

Tim Barringer (Yale)
Ford Madox Brown and the North

The paper will discuss Ford Madox Brown’s engagement with the art of the Northern Renaissance, including manuscript sources and the work of van Eyck, as well as his memorable early trip to see works by Holbein in Basel. It will conclude with thoughts about how this Northern European ideal served him throughout his life, even in the Manchester Town Hall murals – a northern masterpiece.

Saturday 13 January

10.00-10.15 – Arrive

10.15-11.15 – Panel Ⅲ: Arnolfini Things (Post-Graduate Student Session)
Chair:  Claire Yearwood (University of York)

Robert Wilkes (Oxford Brookes University)
Joining Hands: The ‘Arnolfini Portrait’ and F.G. Stephens’s ‘The Proposal’

Debra Phillips (Australian Catholic University)
With This Shoe, I Thee Wed: Interpreting the Symbol of the Shoe as a Transaction Confirmation  in Van Eyck’s ‘Arnolfini Portrait’

Georgios Miliaras (University of Edinburgh)
Out the Window: From the Apples of Paradise to Still Life; The American Pre-Raphaelites

Christin Neubauer and Charlotte Hone (University of York)
The Pre-Raphaelite Re-interpretation of Van Eyck’s Paternoster in the ‘Arnolfini Portrait’ as a Symbolisation of Victorian Gender Constructions

11.15-11.30 – break (no refreshments)

11.30-12.45 – Panel Ⅳ: Van Eyck and Modern Art
Chair: Mark Evans (Victoria & Albert Museum)

Marjorie Coughlan (University of York)
The Art of Photography and the Photography of Art: Victorian and Contemporary Exploitation of the Tableau Vivant

Martin Hammer (University of Kent)
Mr and Mrs Arnolfini: Van Eyck through the Eyes of David Hockney

12.45-2.00 – lunch (not provided)

2.00-4.00 – Panel Ⅴ: Nineteenth-Century Receptions of Van Eyck
Chair: Jason Rosenfeld (Marymount Manhattan College)

Jan Dirk Baetens (Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands) 
Flemish Primitives, Belgian Moderns: Reception and Appropriation of Late-Medieval Netherlandish Painting in Nineteenth-Century Belgium

Jenny Graham (Plymouth University)
The ‘Strange Mirror Picture’: A Nineteenth-Century Historiography of the Arnolfini Portrait

Jeanne Nuechterlein (University of York)
Early Netherlandish Paintings as Historical Specimens in the National Gallery

4.00-4.15 – break (no refreshments)

4.15-5.15 – Plenary Ⅱ
Introduction: Liz Prettejohn (University of York)

Cordula Grewe (Indiana University)
Medievalism’s Crusade, or, The Birth of Modern Art from the Spirit of the Old Masters
In 1800, debates about style were more than quibbles about questions of taste. Style was politics. Nobody was more conscious about this than the group of six young artists who in 1809 founded the first influential secession in modern art history, the Brotherhood of St. Luke. Their emulation of the old master was driven by a desire to fight the forces of secularization, to re-enchant contemporary society and thus, in their eyes, replace decadence and the threats of industrialization with a faith- and community-based social system which was hierarchical  but just and caring. In this sense, not only style but religion itself was politics. Once relocated to Rome in 1810, the fraternity soon became the centre of a much larger movement, the Nazarenes. The Pre-Raphaelites were one of many who soon followed in their footsteps.

This talk will explore the significant notions of a politics of style espoused by this self-declared avant-garde, which pursued the revival of the past as a means to regenerate simultaneously modern culture and modern art. In so doing, it will look at the channels of international transfer, and examine continuities and changes in the crossover from one nation to another, from Germany to England, and finally prove the reception of Philipp Veit as the very basis for William Holman Hunt’s most famous painting, The Light of the World.  

* * *

Convened by Liz Prettejohn and Claire Yearwood, with support from Marjorie Coughlan

Supported by the Government of Flanders and YAHCs (York Art History Collaborations)

Image: Mariana (1851), by Sir John Everett Millais, Bt, accepted by HM Government in lieu of tax and allocated to the Tate Gallery 1999, ; photo © Tate, reproduced under Creative Commons licence  CC-BY-NC-ND (3.0 Unported)