The Arnolfini Portrait
The Arnolfini Portrait
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The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan Van Eyck has baffled art historians ever since it was painted in 1434. It has been dissected and analysed, maybe more than any other painting in history, and in the process, become even more mysterious.

During the medieval period, a rapid expansion in trade and commerce led to the rise of a new class, the incredibly wealthy and powerful merchant class. 

Bruges in the 15th century was the hub of international trade, and people came from all over the world, wanting to get rich. Including the Arnolfinis from Lucca in Italy.

As those Merchants became richer, their appetite for social status grew. Consumerism was rampant and the ultimate way to show off your wealth was to commission a portrait. And by the 1430s, a portrait by Jan Van Eyke was the most exclusive status symbol

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