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Call for Papers - Postgraduate Panel: Arnolfini Things

Posted on 4 August 2017

Arnolfini Histories Conference, National Gallery, 12-13 January 2018

This panel constitutes part of the conference, Arnolfini Histories: Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait and its Receptions, organised in conjunction with the exhibition Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites, organised by the National Gallery, London, in collaboration with Tate (Sunley Room, National Gallery, 2 October 2017 – 2 April 2018).

The conference will be held at the National Gallery, 12-13 January 2018. 

Convenors: Professor Liz Prettejohn (University of York) and Dr Claire Yearwood


Image: Jan van Eyck, Portrait of Giovanni(?) Arnolfini and his Wife, 1434, oil on wood; National Gallery, London

Deadline: 30 September 2017

We invite proposals from postgraduate students for papers (5-10 minutes) in the panel 'Arnolfini Things', which will explore the materiality of things in Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait.

While much scholarship has been devoted to iconographic interpretation of the work, the identity of the figures, and the implications of the subject-matter, the things in the depicted room, rendered with such precision, have received less attention in their own right – apart from the famous mirror. This panel is designed to articulate the roles of the other things in the painting. We welcome proposals for ten-minute papers on any object depicted in the painting except the mirror (although presenters may wish to explore the relationships between their chosen object and the mirror). We hope to include a wide range of approaches, including papers that consider the reinterpretation, or re-presentation, of these things by Pre-Raphaelite and other artists from 1842 (the date of the painting’s entry into the National Gallery collection) onwards.

Please submit 300-word abstracts and a short c.v. to Dr Claire Yearwood (

For more information about the conference, visit the Arnolfini Histories Conference website.