Cavalry and foot soldiers

Four-panels_980

Ever noticed that the two panels left of the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb panel, the Just Judges and Knights of Christ, feature riders on horses, while the two frames on the right side of the central panel, the Hermits and the Pilgrims, there isn’t a horse in sight? Every figure is on foot.

This small detail is not as trivial as first seems, for nothing that Jan van Eyck paints is without reason or purpose. It’s a pointer and measured part of the rationale governing the construction and creative process of the Ghent Altarpiece.

I intend to present details on the Just Judges panel, possibly also the Knights of Christ panel connected to it, sometime later this year. The study is still a work in progress and always likely to be when it comes to the artistry of Jan van Eyck.

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