You’ll probably recognise this grand oil painting of a man in a rather impressive hat and his seemingly pregnant lady friend. It’s considered one of the most complex paintings ever produced; its light, shade and exquisite detail have been praised while its meanings and hidden messages have been long debated. The story and identity of the painting’s richly dressed subjects remains unclear. It could be one of art history’s biggest riddles.
Viktor says ‘When I was at art school, I went to the National Gallery every week, and I would sit in front of this for an hour or so. I still don’t know what it’s about. I think it’s fairly meaningless to go around a gallery and look at everything. It’s important to look at things that mean something to you, and build a relationship with them over time.’
Image: ‘Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife’. Short title: ‘The Arnolfini Portrait’. Jan van Eyck, 1434. © National Gallery, London