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Title: The optical concerns of Jan van Eyck's painting practice
Author: Hanley, Stephen James
ISNI:       0000 0001 3530 1477
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2007
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Jan van Eyck's paintings tend to be described in terms, often, derived from the field of optics, relating to sensations or effects of light, such as 'luminescent' or 'mirror-like'. This thesis aims to define, first, how the distinctively 'optical' characteristics of his practice operate in visual and technical terms, and second, what this suggests about van Eyck's concerns as an artist. The primary intention of the thesis is to define precisely and comprehensively how the optical concerns of van Eyck's paintings relate to his interest in the visual properties of images produced, enhanced, or distorted by optical devices such as mirrors and lenses. It argues that the distinctive 'optical naturalism' of his paintings is not strictly an issue of technique or style, but a matter of how these two interdependent aspects of painting were informed by his unique sensitivity to the visual properties of light, which itself, I suggest, derived from his experience with optical devices. More broadly, the thesis outlines the various ways in which the style, technique and iconography of van Eyck's paintings are founded upon his fascination with manipulating the expectations and restrictions ofvisual experience.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available