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.