(b. 1410/20, Baarle, d. 1475/76, Brugge)

St Eligius in His Workshop (detail)

Oil on wood
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

There is also a convex circular mirror on the right-hand side of St Eligius's table, in an obvious allusion to the Arnolfini Marriage by Jan van Eyk. In it we can see the reflection of a square, with a couple of passers-by. The function of this mirror, however, is very different from that in Van Eyck's painting. Whereas, on one level, it can be interpreted as a symbol of vanity or a protective talisman, it is above all an anti-theft device, which the goldsmith would have used to keep an eye on his clients, just as in present-day bank or jewellers.