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    Empires - The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
    A fascinating and highly entertaining look at one of the most important families of the Renaissance era--the Medici.
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    Sister Wendy - The Complete Collection (Story of Painting / Grand Tour / Odyssey / Pains of Glass)

    “Sister Wendy Beckett has transformed public appreciation of art through her astonishing knowledge, insight and passion for painting and painters.” This set includes Sister Wendy's Story of Painting, Sister Wendy's Odyssey, and Sister Wendy's Grand Tour. Simultaneously delightful and scholarly--this is a must have for anyone interested in art history.

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Entries in Jan van Eyck (3)


Did You Know?

After much disagreement by art historians, it is now accepted that Jan Van Eyck did have an older brother, Pictor Hubertus Eyck (Hubert), who worked with Jan on Adoration of the Lamb.


Jan van Eyck: The Master of Symbols

Jan van Eyck - Portrait of a Goldsmith (Man with Ring) - c. 1430 - Wood, 16,6 x 13,2 cm (without frame) - Muzeul National de Arta, Bucharest (click photo for larger image)Jan van Eyck - Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife (the Arnolfini Wedding Portrait) - 1434 - Oil on oak, 82 x 60 cm National Gallery, London (click photo for larger image)Jan van Eyck (born c. 1380/90 - died 1441) is the artist credited with perfecting the use of oil paint and has traditionally been exalted as the founder of Flemish painting. His work is characterized by an extensive number of disguised religious symbols.

Jan van Eyck is one of those masters in whom interest--over time--has remained high. His work is frequently copied and to own anything by the artist is a collector’s dream. His major achievement is the Ghent Altarpiece, featured elsewhere on this site. Indeed, the return of this famous work to Belgium had to be guaranteed--in the Treaty of Versailles, after WWI--before peace with Germany could be finalized. However, Jan van Eyck is also well known for many of his fine portraits--most notably the Arnolfini Wedding Portrait.


The Ghent Altarpiece

Ghent Altarpiece detail, completed c. 1432, closed view, back panelsGhent Altarpiece detail, completed c. 1432, The Virgin MaryOne of the great masterpieces of art is the treasured Ghent Altarpiece--an early Flemish polyptych panel painting. Begun by Hubert van Eyck and completed by his brother, Jan van Eyck, in around 1432, this work was a major innovation for its time. It introduced a shift away from the idealization of the Middle Ages to a more precise representation of nature. When opened, the altarpiece measures 11 x 15 feet (3.5 x 4.5 metres), so it’s not a small matter, to be sure!

You can find lots of information about the Ghent Altarpiece online. But for a fantastic look at an ongoing project designed to assess the structural condition of this seminal work, visit Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece. Here you'll find multiple views of the panels, various types of photographic analysis (including macrophotography, infrared macrophotography, reflectograph and x-radiography), along with a wealth of documentation and details.

A Tip of the Hat to my friend, Linda C., for turning me on to this site!