Jan van Check Many artistic people show symbolism in many different ways. Jan van Check demonstrated an immense ability in this area. Although Jan Van Cock’s date of birth is unclear, c. 1395 or sometime before this date is widely accepted as a best guess. For this time, he was one of the most advanced artists, especially because of the details in which he used. The specific type of art that Jan van Check did was oil paintings. Next to nothing is known about Jan van Cock’s brother.
Many of his paintings were employed by Jan, which leads to a conclusion that Hubert may have taught Jan a great deal about art. But Jan van Cock’s gifting was in oil, different from traditional Netherlands art. His use of oil paints in his detailed panel paintings resulted in him being known as the father of oil painting. Both Giorgio Vassar, (in his Lives of the Artists, 1550) and Karee van Meander (in The Lives of the Illustrious Netherlands and German Painters) described oil painting as a sudden technical innovation that was discovered by Jan van Check after much experimentation.
He was not a typical renaissance artist. Almost nothing is known of his early life but we do know that he entered the service of Philip the good, Duke of Burgundy in 1425. Philip paid a salary to Van Check. This was very unusual as most artists of the period relied on individual commissions for their livelihoods. Oil paintings had already discovered, but he mastered this art form. Many renaissance artist were not the first to master a medium, instead they leaned from other famous artists. In specific, ‘The Arnold
Wedding,’ a skillfully painted portrait of what is thought to be a private wedding, has such great detail for this time period. The numerous amounts of different features of symbolism in this painting are overwhelming. From the shoes being off (representing sanctity), to the mirror on the wall, the meaning in this picture enlightens viewers about the thoughts of the painter. The inscription on the back wall translates “Jan Van Check was here, 1434” suggests that the artist was a witness to the wedding.
The spotless convex mirror on the back wall alludes to purity, and the reflection of two there individuals in the room (including the painter) infers that witnesses are is neither found nor given, but that it takes shape arbitrarily, present. And that it is dependent upon associations and circumstances that scholars, artists, and viewers all bring to their engagement with paintings. It is not constructed by any one of them alone, although each of us is responsible for the orchestration of our own responses… ” (Linda Sidle, Jan Van Cock’s Arnold Portrait: Stories of an Icon, Cambridge University Press, 1993, p. 4) Learning from the artistic creativity in Jan an Cock’s paintings, connecting the simple things in life to more complex things makes each detail more beautiful. Outline I. Type of art A. Brother’s influence B. Characteristics of work C. Innovative by experimentation II. Not typical renaissance artist A. Early life? Serviced Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy 1425 for salary B. Unusual, artist relied on individual commissions for livelihoods C. Oil discovered, mastered (not like others) Ill. The Arnold Wedding A. Symbolism B. Writing on wall, reflections in mirror C. Great Christian story + common earth