Talk:Annunciation (van Eyck, Washington)

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Debate between Attilios and Gradiva[edit]

It seems there's an edit war ensuing between me and user:Gradiva. I seem, what I did is jst to wikify the article. It contained an long series of POV sentences, and it even began with "van Eyck is a master" etc., clearly without any compliance to WP:Manual of Style. --Attilios 08:22, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

The user Attilios should familiarize himself with the rules he so strives to impose:

Wikipedia does not have firm rules besides the five general principles elucidated here. Be bold in editing, moving, and modifying articles, because the joy of editing is that, although it should be aimed for, perfection is not required. And do not worry about messing up. All prior versions of articles are kept, so there is no way that you can accidentally damage Wikipedia or irretrievably destroy content. But remember — whatever you write here will be preserved for posterity.

The aim and joy of Wikipedia is to share knowledge and express it in a way the author of an article finds the most convincing. Why Attilios thinks that his personal taste has authority over other contributors, especially if their article was not inaccurate, is unclear. He would better spend his energy creating new pages in the format he finds perfect instead of damaging someone else's work, deleting the most valuable information. He seems to strive for the fame of Herostratus.

(previous edits were posted anonymously by editor user:Gradiva)

I think, every serious Wiki users can make his/her opinion by him/herself about phrases such as "The aim and joy of Wikipedia is to share knowledge and express it in a way the author of an article finds the most convincing."... I've repeatedly tried to invite user:Gradiva to read any of the pages specifying the editing policies here, but always in vain. --Attilios 11:33, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
After a quick comparison, Attilios's version is certainly more appropriate and encyclopedic. Gravida will find her question above answered if she reads more WP policies. Arnolfini Portrait is a useful comparison. I have the relevant NGA catalogue volume & will get round to referencing and adding from that, soon I hope. Johnbod 13:31, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
I was going to say something similar, and specifically point to WP:OWN which is more than a guideline it’s a policy. Yes when you start to edit Wikipedia it is very annoying indeed to discover that it’s not a place for self-publishing, and that everyone else in the world is invited and encouraged to change what you have written. But accepting that is the bargain we make for being able contribute to the project in a constructive and collaborative manner which can be personally rewarding a lot of the time. So everyone relax: especially Gravida, as we don’t want to have a wiki-miscarriage! (Especially if an archangel had anything to do with it….)
I had drafted a lot more to say about what could be done to make the article more factual and encyclopedic, in both tone and content. But I have spotted something a bit more concerning. After a long time trying to track down exactly what Gabriel’s speech buble refers to—there are precisely zero ghits for “AVE ORA PLENA”, though I suppose it could be an extreme paraphrase of the Angelus which is where Mary’s bubble apparently comes from—I found the basic source for this article: . It seems to me that what we have here is a bit close to being a copyrght violation. Certainly it’s a paraphrase. Any thoughts, anyone? —Ian Spackman 15:01, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
As usual I can't get the NGA to connect, but I did wonder about some bits. I will try to get it done this w/e. It is GRA not ORA - the standard "Hail Mary" from Luke 1.28. Johnbod 15:17, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Aha! How dim and shortsighted of me!—Ian Spackman 15:42, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

More on copyright[edit]

I am sure the editor was acting in good faith, but I see that this article started life[1] as two word-for-word unacknowledged quotations from Robert Hughes’ introduction to "The Complete Paintings of the Van Eycks". See I am not a copyright lawyer, but I doubt that that counted as fair dealing. Most of that stuff has now gone, but there are at least two short bits of it left (and still unacknowledged). It is clearly going to take a lot of work to go through and source everything, and then somehow get the problematic versions excised from the page history, without that in itself violating the GDFL rights invested in the existing old versions of the page. I wonder if it might not be easier to start the article from scratch? At least there would be two useful sources to work from and some excellent photographs. Or am I suffering from a fit of puritanical pedantry? Thoughts?—Ian Spackman 15:42, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

If you could mark up the 2 Hughes bits, let me see what I can do by Tuesday & then we can reassess, if that's ok. Johnbod 17:03, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Sorry no need as they are on the link. Johnbod 17:04, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Is your draft available anywhere? Johnbod 17:09, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
I didn’t do any work on producing a revised version or the article. It was a bit more meta. But what I was going to say before I realised there were copyright issues was something like the following. I don’t know if it’s useful—I am sure you know much more about art history than I do: more or less it’s a list of some of the questions I would like to see addressed in an an encyclopedic article on the painting. (Together with some hopefully friendly advice to a newish editor.) Some of the answers (what is known about provenance, when the paint was transferred to canvas, which church it was probably painted for are answered on pages linked from the article I mentioned above: . It may all be water under the bridge and no longer of use. But in case it’s useful, this is what I was going to write.
Attilio asked me to have a look at this as an edit war seemed to be developing. I don’t have time to look at the history of the article at the moment so I’ll just comment quickly on the latest version [2]. I would say that a good start has been made. However, there is a problem of tone and a related one of content—it reads a little too much like a personal essay in art appreciation, rather than a factually based encyclopedia article. When evalutions are made it is important that these are referenced to published, verifiable sources which carry some proper academic and/or historical weight. (What E.H. Gombrich or John Ruskin thought about the painting is significant; what we editors think about it isn’t, even if we happen to be acknowledged experts.) There is also, I would have thought, an absence of basic facts about the painting: who commisioned it and why? What was it, orginally? The caption states that it has been transferred from a wooden panel to canvas. Was it an altarpiece? If so for what church? Or was it a private commision? If so where was it hung; how was it ‘used’. The format (2.5:1, according to the dimensions given, and 2.65:1 for the image itself) is pretty elongated and the cropping of the figures (and indeed the book) at the sides is odd. Was this a deliberate feature of van Eyck’s composition? Or was only part of the original painting transferred to the canvas? How did the painting end up in Washington, anyway? (That’s not a spot of vulgar anti-Americanism! Van Eyck presumably didn’t paint it for a public art gallery. The history of the painting as an object is of interest.)
A start has been made at ‘wikifying’ the article, but more can be done. To begin with I couldn’t even see the link to Annunciation. In fact its hidden behind the word ‘announcing’, which will probably be missed by many readers. Sometimes we can be too subtle in our application of wikilinks!
There is lots more I could add, but I’ll limit myself to the issue of the detail images, which I gather has been contentious. They are excellent—photographing paintings successfully is far from trivial, as I know—and Wikipedia is the better off for them. (By the way, images like these which have a free license are ideally uploaded to Commons where they can be used in other projects and specifically in the many Wikipedias written in other languages.) It would be ideal if, rather than being in a gallery at the foot of the page, they were incorporated into the main body of the text. However, as the text stands there doesn’t seem anywhere for them to go where they specifically illuminate what is written.
I hope that doesn’t sound severe. Omissions in Wikipedia articles are less serious than those in other encyclopedias because over time they will be fixed. After all every Wikipedia page is (at least potentially, and always in principle) a collaborative effort. It is often frustrating, but in fact Wikipedia is not a vehicle for self-publishing. WP:OWN is important reading in this respect: it’s not a mere guideline, it is official policy. We all find it frustrating when other people start to ‘mess around’ with articles we have written. But they usually end up better for it in the end. Remain cool, remain civil and at least pretend to WP:Assume good faith. And every time you edit an article, notice the warning:
“If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly or redistributed by others, do not submit it.”

Cheers! —Ian Spackman 22:22, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. Johnbod 22:24, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Update by Gradiva:[edit]

I clearly see that this site is now used by some who self-qualified themselves as to have the power of the Last Judge on the texts and images that others have written. I have nothing against adding to the article that someone has already composed, but DELETING things that MAY BE IMPORTANT to the one who WROTE IT ORIGINALLY and to those WHO COULD READ IT IN THE FUTURE is clearly unacceptable. And after all, WHY DO YOU TEACH ME how to write an article, and what is write and wrong??? It is all subjective, and your advice is just as subjective as my writing. Write your own stuff and express yourself in a way that you feel the best. But if someone else wrote things that just doesn’t please you with its style or eloquence, well, LIVE AND LET LIVE! Especially it was RUINOUS that two images that I TOOK PERSONALLY AT THE MUSEUM have disappeared after Attilias careful editing, ohh, he just threw away THE MOST PRECIOUS HIGH-RESOLUTION images where incomparable details could be seen, without having SLIGHTEST CLUE what he was doing!

What a policy of barbarity and axing! What a GREAT EXPERTISE in proliferating knowledge and creating collective intelligence – when a whole round table of knights in tiger’s skins are circling around, waiting for a new prey to come for their dinner. Poor Virgin and Angel, aiiiiiiiii!!! I am amazed this brought so many spectators; don’t you all have something better to do than dissecting someone’s article??? WRITE YOUR OWN INSTEAD!!!

I see with sadness that Wiki is becoming a playground for ambitions of those who probably dreamed to serve in police force or in censorship office, maybe in Ministry of Truth, creating nothing themselves but censoring, destroying, mutilating and even usurping the work of the others.

If you wan to follow your favorite standard, create your own page. Why to destroy someone else's? Because it's so easy, much easier than to create? And all this ridiculous patronizing from people who do not make sufficient effort to study the subject, yet don’t miss a chance to preach and patronizing other authors so charmingly, pretending they are experts.

It is NO DIFFERENT FROM BOOKS BURNING- if I disagree, I destroy.

Well, I KNOW that it was not an original purpose of Wiki, and actually it is ironic that someone with nickname Attilios has started it - being from Rome, he knows well what Atilla has done. Well, keep the tradition, warrior! DESTROY THINGS YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND! BRAVO! I find all this offensive and quite fascistic at this point - where is your scholarly tolerance??? You behave like close-minded bigots. How disappointing and laughable... I can only recall of Galileo story, and Heine, and so many others, and the Holy Inquisition. I guess lots of folks are waiting here to just flex their muscles and devour a new author. Well, I will not give up easily! And my advice to all of you:


I will read and give you suggestion, but I will NOT DELETE it, as I will RESPECT your effort! That is what is called academic civility. Wiki is not a religion yet - well...I hope!

Vergonia, singnores!

As I mentioned in my last comment to you, this is not the point of the question, Gradiva. The fact is that the register you used in the article was not adequate for this neutral encyclopaedia. And the intervention of Attilios (who doesn't deserve your resentment and irate, unpleasant, words, rather you should read Wikipedia:No personal attacks) was not destroying, that was only formatting, as you inserted your contribution under a license that gives permission to modify. I hope that the discussion will return to considering the content, not the editors.--Grifomaniacs 10:32, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Please attempt to be temperate, Gravida. When you say ‘it is ironic that someone with nickname Attilios has started it - being from Rome, he knows well what Atilla has done’, you are making a number of mistakes. Firstly, according to our article ‘Attila reached Constantinople and Rome but refrained from attacking either city’—it would be attractive if you were to treat user:Attilios with a similar respect. Secondly Attilios is not a nickname: Attilio is his real first name and has nothing to to with the Hun. —Ian Spackman 11:42, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Another update by Gradiva:[edit]

I just saw what Attilios complained about:

""I think, every serious Wiki users can make his/her opinion by him/herself about phrases such as "The aim and joy of Wikipedia is to share knowledge and express it in a way the author of an article finds the most convincing."... I've repeatedly tried to invite user:Gradiva to read any of the pages specifying the editing policies here, but always in vain. --Attilios 11:33, 25 May 2007 (UTC)""

Well, I seriously question the credibility and true aim of this user, as it was HE HIMSELF who sent me so condescendingly Five Pillars of Wikipedia, and DILIGENTLY I went on AND READ it, it is The Fifth Amendment :))) which says:

"Wikipedia does not have firm rules besides the five general principles elucidated here. Be bold in editing, moving, and modifying articles, because the joy of editing is that, although it should be aimed for, perfection is not required. "

See for yourself, Attilios!

Perhaps you should READ THIS MAIN FUNDAMNETAL PRINCIPAL of Wiki Constitution, and you should keep in min this big goal instead of nitpicking and imposing YOUR OWN POLICING IDEA of how things should be done. I consider you a serious bigot and destroyer, AND I SEE THAT THE GOAL OF SELF-AFFIRMATION and INPOSING IS FOR YOU THE MAIN REASON TO BE HERE, but not at all the academic truth, which doesn't really exist and is different for each individual.

Follow your own advice and READ AND FOLLOW WIKI CONSTITUTION!

Oh Dear![edit]

Well, I must say that the article is greatly improved! Thank you, Johnbod.... I presume it was Johnbod, who elucidated the use of Romanesque architecture to indicate a Jewish setting. I see that this is now referenced. Wonderful! i didn't kknow that! Now that we've alll been shouted at, whatt next? --Amandajm 11:31, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

I concur—Johnbod is doing an extraordinarily good job. It’s become a very interesting article. As to what next—I expect Violet Elizabeth Bott will turn up and provide some THOUGHTFUL CONTRIBUTIONS IN BOLD CAPS. She could enjoy herself here ;)—Ian Spackman 11:55, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

ecce ancilla dni?[edit]

Not ECCE ANICLLA DEI?--Ioshus (talk) 17:23, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

No it is DNI with a squiggle on top to indicate a contraction:
38dixit autem Maria ecce ancilla Domini fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum et discessit ab illa angelus
Johnbod 17:29, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
AHHHH... Mind if I insert a tilde and a brief explanation for any other wayward Latinists who might want to accidentally correct that?--Ioshus
not at all - GRA. has one too of course. Johnbod 22:18, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
I've added the verses in Latin & English in the notes, as you're the 2nd person to be puzzled (see above). Johnbod 00:38, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! I added tildes.--Ioshus (talk) 12:31, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

Why is the Article named Annunciation (van Eyck, Washington), wouldn't Annunciation (van Eyck) do (especially considering that the other pieces of the presumed triptych are lost and there's no need to differentiate)? (talk) 07:18, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

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