Wikipedia article of the day for February 15, 2017

The Wikipedia article of the day for February 15, 2017 is Léal Souvenir.
Léal Souvenir is a 1432 oil-on-oak panel portrait by the Early Netherlandish painter Jan van Eyck. The panel was purchased in 1857 by the National Gallery, London, where it is on permanent display. The sitter has not been identified, but his individualistic features suggest a historical person rather than the hypothetical ideal usual in contemporary northern Renaissance portraiture. The portrait contains three layers of painted inscriptions, each rendered to look as if chiseled into stone. The first inscription is in a form of Greek and seems to spell “TYΜ.ωΘΕΟC”, which has not been satisfactorily interpreted but has inspired some to title the work Timotheus. The middle lettering reads in French Leal Souvenir (“Loyal Memory”) and indicates that the portrait is commemorative, completed after the man’s death. The third records van Eyck’s signature and the date of execution. The sitter’s features have been described as “plain and rustic”, yet he is presented as thoughtful and inward-looking. Art historians have detected mournfulness in his expression.

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