Jan van Eyck By Courtney Dermody

Jan van Eyck was born around 1385 (no exact date is known) in modern-day Belgium, Germany. He died in June 1441. He spent most of his life in the Netherlands. Van Eyck was a very famous and successful painter. He came from a family of artists and was brought up to become one himself one day. His father, along with the help of other family members, taught him how to paint and draw. Van Eyck's use of oil paints was his own technique that no one had taught him. Once he figured out how to use them and how to use them successfully, that was all he used. During his time, he was one of the only people to use them. A common misconception is that Van Eyck invented oil paints when really he was the one who made them become popular. By him using them on his artwork that was globally known, it helped spread the use of oil paints. Van Eyck created beautiful paintings and his artwork was in high demand. Some of his pieces are "The Crucifixion; The Last Judgement", "The Adoration of the Magi", and "Madonna in the Church". He enjoyed being a painter for the Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good, and John of Bavaria, the count of Holland, who were very famous and highly respected patrons.

"The Crucifixion; The Last Judgement" 1430

The Crucifixion; The Last Judgement was created in 1430 and was transferred from wood to an oil on canvas. It is located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in gallery 641. This piece made people think. There was much debate about how the people needed to break away from the Church but this painting brought people back to it again. Van Eyck used oil painting in this piece which was a new technique of painting. This piece interested me because it combined two very important and significant events in Christianity and combined them into one powerful picture. This was an example of perspectivism. In this picture there is one vanishing point, it has depth, it is linear, and also looks very realistic, even if its debatable whether or not the event occurred. The vanishing point is the mountains in the back of the Crucifixion side of the painting.

"Madonna of the Church" 1436

The Madonna of the Church was created in 1436 and was a painting measuring 122 cm by 157 cm.

"The Adoration of the Magi" 15th century

The Adoration of the Magi was a drawing, using pen and ink on parchment, done by Jan van Eyck in the fifteenth century.

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