two works being compared in this writing assignment (Van Eyck’s Double
Portrait, and Giotto’s Meeting of Joachim and Anna) are visually very different
in several ways such as with their: setting, medium, techniques used, etc.
Taking a more critical look at the two works it is apparent that although there
are many differences, there are also many similarities within the two pieces
including their symbolic references and certain contents.
While looking at the two pieces, it is clear in both
works that couples are being portrayed in acts of union. Looking at Giotto’s
work, the viewer sees Saint. Joachim and Saint. Anne in an act of union under
the golden gates of Jerusalem. The couple is embracing intimately, signifying
strong connection and feelings of love which, were emerging themes in art
during the time this work was created. When looking at Van Eyck’s work the
couple being portrayed are seen in a ‘bedroom’ in a less intimate act of union.
The couple can be seen holding hands and sharing a seemingly important moment
together. In both works it is evident that there are individuals watching the
couples in their acts of union; in Giotto’s work the witnesses can be seen on
the left side of the painting and under the golden gates; in the work of Van
Eyck the witnesses can be seen in the reflection of the mirror in the
background. It is notable in the work by Giotto that there is a woman dressed
in black looking away from the union, which could symbolize/foreshadow dark
events in the future of the couple.
both works it is evident that there are strong hints to god, using color and
object symbolism. Both works use the color gold (which is often associated with
Christ) in strategic ways, implying that he is present in both unions. In
addition to this it can be seen in the work by Giotto that St. Joachim, and Anne
both have golden halos showing their association with Christ (their halos
appear to combine during their embrace), and in the work of Van Eyck; the