Fairly disturbing c 1430-40 Jan van Eyck diptych. If even half of its prophecies are correct, we're all in serious trouble. Has been a difficult article to piece together. Thanks to Riggr Mortis and Yomangani for copyedits, advice and lots of feedback. A lot of work and rewriting has gone into it since the last time here. Truthkeeper (talk) 21:11, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
Is there no space for a portrait of the artist(s?) himself? "the books of Isaiah, Deutoronomy and Revelation" - is there an easy way to mention that they are books of the Bible? Or is that obvious?184.108.40.206 (talk) 05:33, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
Hi, thanks for the comments. I've linked Books of the Bible, though not entirely convinced it's necessary because the individual books are linked so will defer to what Ceoil and Kafka Liz think. Regarding adding another image: I think it's pretty cramped as is, but again let's see what they think. Truthkeeper (talk) 13:40, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
Comments from Maralia - I have made some minor copyedit tweaks to the article. A few remaining grammar problems:
"Two figures stand, one each, to the far left and right of the centre group, identified as prophesying sibyls." - Oh, the poor commas :) Perhaps 'The fourth and fifth mourners, identified as prophesying sibyls, stand to the far left and right of the centre group.'
"and in its realism, he believes, more terrifying than anything earlier seen in painting." - 'and more terrifying in its realism, he believes, than anything earlier seen in painting'.
"The bat-like death figure, with skull extruding into the earth and skeletal arms and legs down into hell" - How can something extrude into something?
This has been improved, but we still have " The bat-like death figure, with skull [...] skeletal arms and legs [extruding] into hell."
"The panels are today generally accepted as having been completed during the 1430s, although a wide span of dates has been put forward from early half of the 20th century." - Awkward and missing an article. Perhaps 'Today the panels are generally accepted as having been completed during the 1430s, although during the first half of the 20th century a wide span of dates were put forward.'
"In 1983, Belting and Eichberger suggested c. 1430 based on the narrative character of the works; a style defined by a "birds-eye view" perspective and horizon, densely packed figures and, especially, a pictorial narrative that moves logically across the areas of the image." - I'm not sure how to parse this sentence; is this a list of 4 things (narrative character, birds-eye perspective, densely-packed figures, pictorial narrative that moves) or are the latter 3 meant to be an elaboration on 'narrative character'?
Reworded again - should be a list. Truthkeeper (talk) 17:14, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Fixed these; thanks for the suggested wording. Much better now. Truthkeeper (talk) 19:00, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
There are some redundancies or seemingly misplaced bits in the sections for Format and Technique, Dating, Attribution, and Provenance:
The 'possible triptych' issue is addressed at length in the Format and Technique section and then twice in the Provenance section; in the latter, the conclusion that the work was not a triptych is obfuscated by language such as "this lost panel" and "the central panel".
Yes, agree. Moved a sentence to clearly state the work is no longer considered a triptych. Truthkeeper (talk) 16:41, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Likewise, the issue of private vs public commission is addressed in the Format and Technique section and then at further length in the Provenance section, where it seems somewhat out of place.
I've rejigged the Provenance section a bit. This is tricky because it speaks to both technique and provenance. The point to be made in the technique section is that the technique is inconsistent with private commissions of the period and I'm inclined to keep that point in the technique section, but waiting for others to chime in. Truthkeeper (talk) 16:41, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
This refers to the paragraph in the Provenance section that begins "Given the panels' diminutive size". Elements of this seem to belong in Format and Technique, and perhaps in Inscriptions.
Moved this; separated the characteristics / techniques from the possible donor. Truthkeeper (talk) 17:14, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
This sentence in the Attribution section seems to more properly belong in the Dating section: "The similarity of a Turin drawing of the crucified Christ to the figure in the New York diptych has led some art historians to conclude they were, at least, painted near the same time, during the 1420s and early 1430s."
I've combined the two sections, reorganized, and added a bit to tie together the relationship with Hand G, who may have been either Hubert or Jan - hence the uncertain dating. Truthkeeper (talk) 20:48, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
There is some internal redundancy in the Provenance section, where we have "The panels were kept in a convent in Spain until sometime before 1841", followed shortly by "the panels were bought at auction from either a Spanish monastery or convent", followed two paragraphs later by "He lived in Spain between 1815 and 1821 and is thought to have bought the work from a Spanish convent or monastery near Madrid or Burgos."
I don't have the sources for these; Ceoil typically only edits on weekends, so waiting for his input. Truthkeeper (talk) 17:14, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Actually I think this only needed restructuring which I've done. Does it seem better now? Truthkeeper (talk) 22:29, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
This still needs to be cleaned up. Chronological order would be an improvement; the sentence "Nothing is known of the work's provenance before the early 19th century" is particularly out of place as it comes some two paragraphs after the subject was addressed.
All that said, this is fine work and I look forward to supporting. Maralia (talk) 03:17, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
Hi, thanks for these good comments. Working on them. Truthkeeper (talk) 16:30, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
Good progress! I have struck resolved issues, and added a few explanatory comments. Maralia (talk) 16:31, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Thank you Maralia for these constructive pointers, I had been distracted all week with work, able to help now in going through the page. Ceoil (talk) 23:44, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Struck a few more that are definitely resolved. Still have some quibbles with Provenance and the triptych issue spread between there & Format and Technique; taking a look at it now to see if I can offer a solution or at least a better explanation of the problem as I see it. Maralia (talk) 16:38, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for taking the time. I don't have a problem with having the issue of diptych/triptych in only a single sections if you think that will work best. Truthkeeper (talk) 17:15, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I went ahead and took the triptych information from the Provenance and consolidated in the Techniques, and have to agree that it seems to fit better. I should have been more bold and tried that earlier. Have a look and see what you think. Truthkeeper (talk) 17:22, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I just took a stab at fixing the remaining issues as I saw them, reorganizing the Provenance section and moving a small bit on attribution out to that section. I think it's an improvement, but of course you should feel free to revert if y'all don't like it. I was careful to keep the associated citations, but I did have to minorly rework the wording in a few instances, so please check to make sure I haven't misrepresented the sources.
In reviewing my edit just now to make sure nothing was lost, I see that I neglected to reincorporate the bolded portion of this sentence: "In 1841 the German painter J.D. Passavant attributed the panels jointly to Hubert and Jan van Eyck and believed the lost centre panel may have been a nativity.". I had intended to nudge it into the triptych bit inside Format and technique. Uncertain how to do that now, as "In 1841 JD Passavant believed the lost centre panel may have been a nativity" is somewhat strange on its own; can we say he wrote this, perhaps? Maralia (talk) 16:19, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks so much, that works very well. Sometimes it takes another set of eyes to see the problem and honestly I've looked at this page so many times, I've lost a bit of perspective. I "rescued" the lost Passavant bit, adding to a sentence in the Technique section  - which I think works. This has been a most helpful review. Truthkeeper (talk) 19:27, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for being receptive to my reorganization. I know how hard it is to see something you've read and jiggered hundred times—and likewise how much work it is to check that someone else's rejiggering of it is helpful and complete. My issues are all resolved; will keep an eye on changes resulting from Johnbod's review below, and look forward to supporting. Maralia (talk) 14:40, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Your suggestions have been extremely good and have helped with the structure of those sections. Thanks again. Truthkeeper (talk) 19:19, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Looking very good. Some comments:
"By contrast, depictions of the Crucifixion were usually presented in landscape." - ambiguous, "... usually presented in "landscape" format." or "horizontal"
Will leave this to Ceoil - I don't have access to this source. Truthkeeper (talk) 01:14, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
horizontal seems more correct. Wider than is longer, is whats intended. Ceoil (talk) 01:22, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
"the German painter J.D. Passavant speculated in 1841,2 - barely notable as a painter, but a leading art historian of his day.
"Van Eyck seems to regard the onlookers in the mid-ground largely with scorn" bit subjective - "Van Eyck depicts the onlookers in the mid-ground with an element of caricature" maybe?
Direct quote for scorn is here: . Because this has been mentioned before, I think it should be reworded by someone other than me. In the meantime, I've attributed it to Burroughs. Truthkeeper (talk) 23:58, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Ok, not a style I much like - van Eyck was a rather cool observer if you ask me. Johnbod (talk) 01:21, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Tried my hand at this; please let me know if it works. Kafka Liz (talk) 21:36, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, better, thanks. Johnbod (talk) 02:22, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
" the armoured centurion, seated on a white horse to the right of the base of the cross, who looks up at Christ with an expression approaching awe" - traditionally Saint Longinus - ok linked later, but should probably be introduced here. Mention profil perdu?
Saint Longinus is center left, green tunic/doublet, fur-trimmed sleeves and hat, ornate belt, adjacent to the standing figure (Stephaton) in blue, helping hold the lance. The armoured centurion (and he is referred as a centurion in the sources), is on the right of the panel, white horse, elaborate spurs, gold/brown, fitted armour, mustached, head thrown back, arms spread wide. A different figure, and perhaps needs a bit more description to differentiate. Truthkeeper (talk) 19:19, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
A bit of rewrite to show his position on the panel. Hopefully more clear. Truthkeeper (talk) 01:14, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Ok, my careless reading, or jumping around between the text & the excellent full view of the image. Johnbod (talk) 01:21, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Tweaked this a tiny bit - let me know if I've trimmed too much, and I'll work the description back in. Kafka Liz (talk) 22:04, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, better, thanks. Johnbod (talk) 02:22, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
"... in keeping with the idea that the panel captures the moment of Jesus' death." maybe spell out this happened during a big storm, per the Gospels?
My inclination is probably not necessary. I haven't read this in the sources but maybe Ceoil has in his sources. Up to him. Truthkeeper (talk) 01:14, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
"Van Eyck pointedly shows members of the nobility and clergy among those condemned to hell." Is that what the ref says - I can see 2 crowns, 2 mitres, 1 cardinal's hat & several tonsures, but nothing obviously relating to the nobility?
Reworded slightly to reflect kings rather than nobility. Truthkeeper (talk) 19:09, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Managed to see this in snippet view which clearly says "nobles", but I have trimmed out a word. Truthkeeper (talk) 01:14, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Attribution and dating - it perhaps needs to be explained that division of the existing works between Jan & Hubert has involved movement in blocks, with this, the Turin-Milan Hours & other works being reattributed en bloc, generally driven in large part by what is thought of the Ghent Altarpiece.
Pacht spends at least 60 pages on this - but no outright sentence to use. Not quite sure how to present it without adding a huge span of page numbers. Still searching for something a bit more concise, unless you have any suggestions how to deal with it. Truthkeeper (talk) 19:19, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
The Met site gives an overview of the movement from the attribution to Hubert (early in the 20th century) to Jan (later in the century) - and much of the scholarship tends to look at the dates. I've added a sentence about this but am not completely convinced this is the solution here. It's a tricky subject and agree that it's driven by thoughts about the Ghent Altarpiece. I'm wondering if it might be best to spell out the issue of attribution in general in the respective biographies (which need a lot of work) and link in here. Open to suggestion regarding this issue. Truthkeeper (talk) 01:14, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
If the Bosch-style monsters here are the first time this developed style occurs, as the Pacht quote suggests, this should aybe be brought out more strongly, refs permitting.
I've trimmed this out - got a little carried away with Pacht. Truthkeeper (talk) 01:14, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Nikkimaria. I think I got all of these. Truthkeeper (talk) 16:09, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Support - Prose is very well-written. Could the image in Attribution and dating be moved up within the section? It's bothering me. A few citation nitpicks:
Source 42 - MetMuseum website - the citation is listed there as "Jones, Susan. "Jan van Eyck (ca. 1380/90–1441)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/eyck/hd_eyck.htm (October 2002)". The current citation doesn't include that author or the date; it would be useful to mention those.
Footnotes 5/31/40/57 - 31 uses a period, 5, 57, and 40 don't. Consistency!
Reference 60 is confusing; is it an article from a journal? Or is it a paper? Why is the entire reference within the citation, and not listed below with the other sources?
Is it customary for a citation like 6 (which uses pg 86 and 89 of Borchert)? I thought that was frowned upon. Could we just put a double cite to the already-in-place citations to pg 86 and 89?
Why not customary? Why have 2 cites when one will do. Oh well, they've done it now anyway. Johnbod (talk) 02:22, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
The close-up images are very useful. I love the gallery. ceranthor 20:55, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Ceranthor, the gallery could have contained twice as many images, it was hard to choose and exercise restraint! Looking into your points now, though not sure about the last one (2 pages), if both pages relate to the same train of though or point, its useful to the reader to know they are connected. But not married to the format either. Ceoil (talk) 21:15, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Actually, your right. All done except, yet, 5/31/40/57. Ceoil (talk) 00:16, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
These are now done. Good catch here. Thanks, too, for the support. Truthkeeper (talk) 19:06, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
Awesome, thanks. I'm confused, are reference six and seven duplicates? ceranthor 02:10, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
Not anymore, looks like a typo from separating them. Truthkeeper (talk) 02:16, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
Support Comments - taking a look.on prose and comprehensiveness...Casliber (talk·contribs) 03:20, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
....presenting the biblical episodes using a "narrative" technique "narrative" looks funny in quotation marks here.
or as the German art historian J.D. Passavant speculated in 1841, the lost centre panel may have been a Nativity - needs a comma after the "or" methinks....
It is now thought unlikely that this lost panel could be the postulated original companion to the outer wings - makes this sound like a definitive panel rather than "any" panel. Would an indefinite article be better here?