Although the same basic elements—two people, complex chandelier, convex mirror, and small objects on the floor—are in the painting as in the photograph I took during a motorcycle ride in Ireland with two friends (Ultan Guilfoyle and Tom Hayes), there is no mistaking the fact that van Eyck’s composition and use of color are more pleasing to the eye. The small autofocus camera I had with me was a far more sophisticated optical device than anything van Eyck had, but he produced a timeless image while I produced a snapshot.

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