Two of the notable additions to this section are portraits of the donor and his wife. They are joined by their respective patron saints in a series of narrow panel paintings which were carefully planned in order to ensure that the overall set up was sized correctly. Patrons would often ask to be included with the work that they had commissioned but normally they would be restricted to the side panels, just as they were here. There are also painted elements akin to architecture or sculpture which gives some of the portraits a feeling of depth and was another trademark of this artist's career. There were a total of twelve artworks on the back view of this altarpiece, some of which were fairly small and even curved as a means to matching the layout of the front view.
Jan van Eyck called upon the services of some of his assistants for this extensive project but would always handle the key parts himself. Perhaps, therefore, he allowed his studio to work on some of these items here which would not be seen as regularly as the other side. In normal cases the triptych would be in its open position, leaving these portraits facing back towards the wall on which the artwork is hung. There are also two central panels which do not hold much excitement and lay between the angels on either side. These could potentially have been handed over to someone else, though there is little documentation available on who completed which parts specifically. We do know that Hubert, his brother, was particularly involved here and this helped us to get a better understanding of his own technical ability.
The entire set up remains on display together and has received considerable work over the years in order to protect it for future generations. It remains one of the most significant artworks from this part of Europe and was an important element in the progression of oil painting right across the world, with Van Eyck helping to bring about advancements within this medium. There was also a popularity with multi panel paintings during this time, with many of the best paying commissions coming from religious establishments, or at least planned for display within them. Our section specifically on the overall project covers the front view in more detail and offers large photographs of each artwork.