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Running head: ART
Essay One: Compare and Contrast the Following Works of Art
Masaccio, Tribute Money, 1427 vs. Van Eyck, Arnolfini Wedding Portrait, 1434
Tribute Money is a Christian painting that was created in 1427, describing scenes from the Gospel
of Mathew, in which Jesus is directing Peter to pay temple tax by finding a coin in the mouth of a
fish. On the other hand, Arnolfini Wedding Portrait is a marriage portrait painted in 1434 to depict
the Italian merchant Arnolfini Nicolao Giovanni and his spouse, apparently in their home in the
Flemish city of Bruges.
Masaccio and Van Eyck used various materials, techniques, and subject matter to paint these
portraits. Masaccio used linear perspective techniques to paint Tribute Money. The artist’s use of
the technique makes the shadows behind the images to the left to look incredible in the viewer’s
eyes. Also, throughout the painting, the light seems to alternate and change. For Van Eyck, he used
the under-drawing technique to paint the Arnolfini Portrait. Under this technique, the artist puts a
sketch underneath the carefully constructed layers of oil paint. The black pigment drawing marks
the beginning of a beautiful portrait. The artist drew Arnolfini’s hat several times before the paintcovered brush touched the panel when drawing the Arnolfini Portrait. The artist also used the light
technique to draw this portrait; this means that he painted reflections on the panel. If a viewer looks
closely at Arnolfini Portrait, they can reflect the newlywed couple and perhaps even the artist’s
The subject matter of Tribute Money is subjection to state tax, and the money found in fish’s mouth
is an expression of how the wealth of Florence came into came from the sea. On the other hand,
the subject m…
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