In response to my recent post “Why is this man wearing a turban?“, friend and colleague Lori Way writes:
I liked your recent post about Jan van Eyck’s Man with the Red Turban. The turban was, at that time, considered commonplace for artists to wear. Not only did it keep artistic media out of one’s hair while in the studio, but it also came to be known as a status symbol. Here is a website that has a little more information about the artist’s turban (be sure to click through to all of the thumbnails).
Many also consider it likely that this particular painting is a self portrait of Jan van Eyck due to the fact that his fixed gaze is similar to what one experiences when looking in a mirror.
While we live in a world today that often misinterprets the turban, it’s an interesting note that this article of clothing was once patronized by Europe’s Renaissance artists in an entirely different context.