Jan van Eyck - Artist Biography with Gallery of Famous Flemish Paintings
Jan van Eyck was a talented artist from the 15th century who was based in the Flemish regions of Northern Europe.
Arnolfini Wedding Portrait is certainly the most famous painting from the career of Jan van Eyck but this website brings you a gallery that covers all of his finest paintings and also looks in detail at his life and career as a whole. There are also links alongside each painting of the gallery which allow you to buy reproductions of original Van Eyck paintings online from our recommended art retailer.
Jan van Eyck was of great significance right across Northern Europe at a time when Italians were dominating the art world and it's development onwards from the Middle Ages. Jan van Eyck has around 25 paintings attributed to him currently from a career which spanned 20 years and as such it is generally believed that there were many other works from his career which have since either fallen into disrepair or simply not yet been discovered as works of Van Eyck.
All of the paintings currently attributed to him can be found within this website along with several drawings which underline his exceptional skills as an artist. Jan van Eyck can be seen above within his self portrait which was entitled Man in a Red Turban. Van Eyck is believed to have been born in Maaseik, Burgundian Netherlands around 1395 but it has proven difficult to ascertain precise information on the life of this artist simply because it was so long ago when media and literature was completely different to how it is in the modern day.
What is clear, however, is that Jan van Eyck spent most of his working life as an artist in Bruges and it was here that he later died at a relatively young age of around 45. The most early records found regarding the life of this artist concern his period serving as a painter at the John of Bavaria Court in the Hague, where he was on the payroll along with at least two assistants which is at least a suggestion at the prominence which he was enjoying at the time. The artist is also believed to have been the brother of fellow artist Hubert van Eyck and several art works within this website are actually currently attributed to both of them together.
Famous Artists who Influenced Jan van Eyck
The beautiful frescoes of Treviso-based Tommaso da Modena plus the tripytchs of Melchior Broederlam and of Robert Campin had a lesser known impact of Jan van Eyck. Jan's brother, Herbert van Eyck, played a more signifiant role in the artist's development. There were also various publications of Gothic art which interested the budding artist. It is likely that the work of Masaccio also came to his attention whilst studying in Italy. Masaccio himself is regarded as one of the key contributors to the rise of the Italian Renaissance, alongside household names like Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Raphael and Giotto.
Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife is a portrait which became the best known work from the career of Flemish painter Jan van Eyck and you can see this painting above in all it's glory. The National Gallery in London now holds this painting and it is one of the major attractions within this key international art gallery. The Arnolfini Wedding portrait was produced from oils on a oak panel in 1434 at a late stage in his career.
With so much information lacking on his career as a whole, this particular piece has many different names such as The Arnolfini Wedding, The Arnolfini Marriage, The Arnolfini Double Portrait or the Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife. The subject of this famous work was an Italian merchant and his wife who are likely to have been set at home in the city of Bruges alongside the artist himself who produced all of his best art here.
One unusual aspect of this painting is that it was constructed completely in oils on wood panel, when no other major had used this technique at this time, always prefering tempera in most cases. With oils now being the mainstream method of art above all others, it is clear that van Eyck was playing an important role in developing ideas and techniques for the future.
Adoration of the Mystic Lamb
Adoration of the Mystic Lamb is one of the more complex paintings from Jan van Eyck and features again a religious scene which in this case has huge numbers of figures gathered around the focal point of the painting which is a small ceremony including a lamb which holds obvious symbolic importance to all those who look on in adoration.
Religious and mythical paintings dominate the work of Van Eyck as they do all over painters from this period. Jan van Eyck reproductions are very popular in the modern day thanks to the large exposure which some of his paintings receive thanks to their locations in key national galleries.
There is also a huge interest from art academics and the art public in general for the key highlights from his career, namely Arnolfini Portrait and Portrait of a Man in a Turban. The style used by Van Eyck is classicly Renaissance and he remains a fundamental and early influence on the rise of the Renaissance within Northern Europe.
Rolin Madonna is a stylish painting from Jan van Eyck which includes a wealth of detail that keeps great intrigue within this particular painting. The main focus are the individuals in the foreground but there is also a breadth of visual information sitting in the landscape which sweeps across the background within a carefully created traditional look that the artist would surely have had to have seen at the time in order to create this lifelike background.
The classic Renaissance approach by Jan van Eyck is still highly appreciated by some art fans who respect traditional styles of art and they often will buy reproductions of Jan van Eyck paintings as framed giclee art prints, posters or stretched canvases. The Renaissance movement painting always look best when held within large but classic frames and as such posters as much rarer than prints for those looking to add classic Van Eyck originals to the walls of their own home or office.
Virgin and Child with a Book
Man in a Red Turban
List of Famous Jan van Eyck Paintings
Please see below for a summarised list of the best Jan van Eyck paintings that are featured throughout this website.