Jan van Eyck Biography
Born In: Maaseik, Belgium
Jan van Eyck was a Flemish painter who composed most of his works in Bruges in the first half of the 15th century. He is one of the pioneers of what later became the Early Netherlandish painting and one of the most important figures of Early Northern Renaissance Art. Fragmented records of his early life have survived, according to which he was originally from Maaseik, in today’s Belgium. Around 1422, he began working in the Hague. By that time, he had already established himself as a master painter with John III the Pitiless, ruler of Holland and Hainaut, as his patron. He then served in Lille as court painter to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. In 1429, he relocated to Bruges, where he spent the remainder of his life. About 20 paintings ascribed to him have made it to the present day, along with the Ghent Altarpiece and the illuminated miniatures of the Turin-Milan Hours. In his works, Van Eyck explored both secular and religious themes. Although his art originates from the International Gothic style, it did not take him long to overshadow it, partly due to his belief of giving more importance to naturalism and realism. Van Eyck was arguably the most prominent user of oil paint in the Renaissance Europe and influenced several Early Netherlandish painters with his technique and style.