Live and Online Lecture

Seeing is Believing: Van Eyck and the Art of Illusion

by Dr Richard Stemp
6pm 3rd June 2020

We are running a short series of live and online lectures in June and we do hope you will bring an aperitivo and join us for an hour before dinner. We have chosen subjects to stimulate new interests and conversation, ready for the imminent return to socializing. We invite you to join 15 minutes early to hear information on AHA’s plans for the future and there will be time for questions and answers at the end.

Seeing is Believing: Van Eyck and the Art of Illusion

With van Eyck begins the idea that art is illusion, stealing a march on the Italians. Even before Alberti suggested that painting was like a view through a window, Jan van Eyck was already including windows with the most remarkable views to make his paintings real, and his ability to paint a wide variety of different textures and surfaces always tricks us into believing that he had witnessed everything he painted. But had he? Or was he just using his incredible talent to make us believe in things we couldn’t see?

Focusing on two of the National Gallery’s exquisite portraits and the Ghent Altarpiece (which some of us were lucky enough to see before lockdown closed this year’s must see exhibition) Richard Stemp will explore Jan van Eyck’s aims and techniques to bring his world to life.

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