Paying homage

A few months back I brought to light how two illustrations in a late 12th century Hungarian manuscript known as the Pray Codex were utilised by Jan van Eyck as a basis for the Arnolfini Portrait in 1434.

This wasn’t the first time Van Eyck had sourced from another artwork to compose a painting. Today I discovered he used a similar method for the Just Judges panel completed in 1432. The repetition is extensive, at least 20 features have been reworked into the Just Judges composition.

This deliberate process can be likened to Petrus Christus repeating elements from Jan van Eyck’s Just Judges for his painting of A Goldsmith in his Shop. I mentioned in a previous post that by doing this Petrus was paying homage to Van Eyck, his mentor – and so, it appears, was Van Eyck in his composition of the Just Judges, honouring the memory and talent of another artist in the same way.

More on this in my next post.

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