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van Eyck, Jan [Flemish, 1370?-?1440] 

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van Eyck, Jan [Flemish, 1370?-?1440]


[ 15th Century Artists ]
portrait

Jan van Eyck (Dutch painter: (before c. 1390–9 July 1441) was an Early Netherlandish painter active in Bruges. Outside of the Ghent Altarpiece completed with his brother Hubert van Eyck, and the illuminated miniatures ascribed to Hand G — believed to be Jan — of the Turin-Milan Hours, only about 25 surviving works are confidently attributed to him, all dated between 1432 and 1439. Ten, including the Ghent altarpiece, are dated and signed with a variation of his motto, ALS IK KAN (As I (Eyck) can), always written in Greek characters, and transliterate as a pun on his name.

Little is known of his early life. The few surviving records indicate that he was born c. 1380–90, most likely in Maaseik. He took employment as painter and Valet de chambre with John of Bavaria-Straubing, ruler of Holland, in the Hague around 1422, when he was already a master painter with workshop assistants. After John's death in 1425 he was employed as court painter to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, in Lille, where he remained until 1429 after which he moved to Bruges, working for Philip until his death there in 1441. It is known that he was highly regarded by Philip, and undertook a number of diplomatic visits abroad on his behalf, including to Lisbon in 1428 to arrange the Duke's marriage contract with Isabella of Portugal.

Van Eyck painted both secular and religious subject matter, including commissioned portraits, donor portraits (with the donor kneeling before a seated Virgin Mary) and both large and portable altarpieces. Because of the regular salary he received from the court he was not dependent on commissions, and thus had relative artistic freedom. Van Eyck used oil as a medium; the fact that oil dries so slowly allowed him more time and more scope for blending and mixing layers of different pigments.

The image we used for Jan's portrait is his, Portrait of a Man in a Turban. It is believed it is a self-portrait.

From October of 1916 through January of 1917, Rudolf Steiner gave a series of nine lectures known as the Art Course. These lectures were given the title of: The History of Art. Click here to discover what Steiner said about Jan van Eyck in the sixth lecture, or in the entire lecture series.

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  van Eyck, Jan [Flemish, 1370?-?1440]

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Title: Madonna of Chancellor Rolin (detail)
  
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Title: The Ghent Altarpiece (wings open)
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Title: The Ghent Altarpiece (detail)
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Title: The Ghent Altarpiece (detail) God, the Father
  
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Title: The Ghent Altarpiece (detail) Mary
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Title: The Ghent Altarpiece (detail) Mary
  
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File: HA06-004.jpg
Title: The Ghent Altarpiece (detail) John
  
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File: HA06-005.jpg
Title: The Ghent Altarpiece (detail) Angels making Music
  
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Title: The Ghent Altarpiece (detail) Angels making Music
  
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File: HA06-006.jpg
Title: The Ghent Altarpiece (detail) Angels singing
  
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Title: The Ghent Altarpiece (detail) Adoration of the Lamb
  
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Title: The Ghent Altarpiece (detail) Adoration of the Lamb
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File: HA06-008a.jpg
Title: Adoration of the Lamb as compared to a Mithras-Relief
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Title: The Ghent Altarpiece (detail) The Knights and Judges
  
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File: HA06-009a.jpg
Title: The Ghent Altarpiece (detail) The Knights and Judges
  
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