The Virgin of Chancellor Rolin (c. 1435) by Jan Van Eyck

The Virgin of Chancellor Rolin - Jan Van Eyck - c.1435

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Virgin of Chancellor Rolin
ArtistJan Van Eyck
Dimensions66 x 62 cm
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationLouvre, Paris, France
Location Created Belgium

About The Virgin of Chancellor Rolin

“The Virgin of Chancellor Rolin,” created by Jan Van Eyck around 1435, is an oil painting that epitomizes the Northern Renaissance art movement. The artwork measures approximately 66 x 62 cm and is currently housed at the Louvre in Paris, France. It is categorized as a religious painting and was crafted in Belgium, which is indicative of the geographic and spiritual influences that shaped Northern Renaissance art.

The artwork features a richly detailed and meticulously composed scene that serves as a representation of wealth and piety. At the center is the Virgin Mary, crowned by a hovering angel, seated majestically with the Christ Child on her lap. The figures are placed within an ornate loggia that opens up to a distant, panoramic landscape, abounding with minute details and serene natural beauty.

To the left, Chancellor Rolin is depicted kneeling in devout prayer, his hands clasped and his gaze directed toward the holy figures, embodying the characteristic devotion and introspection of the era. His placement in the painting suggests both a reverence to the divine and a statement of his social and political status. He is dressed in a sumptuous garment embellished with intricate designs, emphasizing the wealth and importance of his office.

The intricate floor tiles, the Gothic architecture, the luminosity of the oil medium, and the deep reds and gilded elements used throughout the composition are hallmarks of Van Eyck’s masterful technique and attention to detail. The vivid realism, the use of perspective, and the astute observation of light effects that imbue the scene with a sense of depth and volume, showcase Van Eyck’s capacity to blend earthly splendor with spiritual significance. As a result, the artwork is not only a testimony to religious devotion but also a reflection of the cultural and artistic values of the Northern Renaissance.

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