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This is Jan van Eyck

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By Gwylym Owen

Jan van Eyck ( van EYEK, Dutch: [ˈjɑn vɑn ˈɛik]; c.  before 1390 – 9 July 1441) was a painter alert in Bruges who was one of the early innovators of what became known as Early Netherlandish painting, and one of the most significant representatives of Early Northern Renaissance art. According to Ernst Gombrich, he invented oil painting. The unshakable records indicate that he was born approximately 1380–1390, most likely in Maaseik (then Maaseyck, hence his name), in present-day Belgium. He took employment in The Hague all but 1422 behind he was already a master painter gone workshop assistants, and was employed as painter and valet de chambre with John III the Pitiless, ruler of Holland and Hainaut. After John’s death in 1425, he was sophisticated appointed as court painter to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, working in Lille until he moved to Bruges in 1429 where he lived until his death. He was highly regarded by Philip and undertook a number of diplomatic visits abroad, including to Lisbon in 1428 to examine the possibility of a marriage conformity between the duke and Isabella of Portugal.

About 20 long-lasting paintings are confidently endorsed to him, as well as the Ghent Altarpiece and the illuminated miniatures of the Turin-Milan Hours, all dated between 1432 and 1439. Ten are obsolete and signed subsequently a variation of his motto ALS ICH KAN (As I (Eyck) can), a pun on his name, which he typically painted in Greek characters.

Van Eyck painted both secular and religious subject matter, including altarpieces, single-panel religious figures and commissioned portraits. His put-on includes single panels, diptychs, triptychs, and polyptych panels. He was competently paid by Philip, who sought that the painter was safe financially and had artistic forgiveness so that he could paint “whenever he pleased”. Van Eyck’s work comes from the International Gothic style, but he soon eclipsed it, in part through a greater emphasis upon naturalism and realism. He achieved a new level of virtuosity through his developments in the use of oil paint. He was intensely influential, and his techniques and style were adopted and refined by the Early Netherlandish painters.

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