How well did you do on Tuesday’s pop quiz inspired by Patrick De Rynck’s How to Read a Painting? Here are the answers from the book:
1. Why do you see a hint of columns on the far right and left in the Mona Lisa?
They create “the impression that she is sitting in an open loggia.”
2. Where in The Last Supper do you find Judas knocking over the salt?
John sits at the right hand of Christ (in the center of the picture), and Peter leans toward him, shoving Judas aside. Judas “clasps the purse containing the silver coins he received from the authorities and knocks over the salt.”
3. Why does the man stand next to the window and the woman away from it in Giovanni Arnofini and His Wife?
The wife’s position “associates her with the ‘inside world’ of the home.”
How to Read a Painting: Lessons From the Old Masters (Abrams, 2004) is an excellent collection of analyses of more than 100 great paintings, each shown on a two-page spread with callouts that highlight some of its interesting aspects. Giovanni Arnolfini and His Wife, shown here, hangs the National Gallery in London under the title The Arnolfini Portrait.
© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.