Art and Design KS2: Jan van Eyck’s ‘Arnolfini Portrait'

A statue comes to life in a magical gallery and climbs into the painting 'Arnolfini Portrait' by Jan Van Eyck, encouraging us to help her do some detective work.

Inside the painting she explores the clues that Van Eyck painted into the picture, giving us meanings behind dogs, candles and even oranges.

We learn about the techniques Van Eyck uses in his painting, and his placement within the artistic world at the time of the painting and beyond.

In a mixture of live action, animation and elements of the painting itself, the clip brings the painting to life and ends by encouraging viewers to look for more meanings and clues.

This clip is from the series Your Paintings.

Teacher Notes

This clip could be used as an introduction to the work of Jan van Eyck and/or in a discussion about famous artists, art history, or painting.

It could also be used as a stimulus for discussion of opinions and understanding.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Art and Design at KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and at 2nd Level in Scotland.

More from Your Paintings:

Henri Rousseau’s 'Surprised!'
Joseph Wright of Derby’s 'Orrery'
L.S. Lowry’s 'Britain at Play'
Paula Rego’s ‘Sleeping’
Andy Warhol’s ‘Marilyn Diptych’
Eileen Agar’s ‘Bride of the Sea’
Kandinsky’s ‘Schaukeln’
Yinka Shonibare’s ‘Line Painting’