Jan Van Eyck

By Noah Schimanski

The Life of Jan van Eyck

When Jan was born is not known because they did not keep as accurate of records at birth. It is estimated that he was born anywhere from 1380-1395. He lived till 1441 when he died in Bruges, Belgium. He came from a family of painters. He became the pride of the family by becoming the most notable painter. He had a very high social standing for a painter. It was very unusual for painter to have high social standards.

Adoration of the Mystic Lamb

This painting was made to be very symbolic. If you don't look between the lines you miss the true beauty of the picture. The lamb symbolizes Jesus giving his life for the sins of humankind. The people are gathered around watching just as they were during the crucifixion of Jesus. This painting is one of the first paintings to use oil paints. He also used white chalk to make it look more detailed.

Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife 1434

This is a portrait of the great Giovanni Arnolfini and his wife. This picture is known to be extremely generous considering that they were both known as very unattractive people. Van Eyck uses a realistic type of painting while painting this picture. It looks much more authentic than the paintings during the middle ages.

Connections to the Reniassance

Van Eyck was one of the only renaissance artists that lived outside of Italy. He was hired twice in Belgium by wealthy patrons. He was the only renaissance artist in all of Belgium that made his work worth much more money than others at that time. He also was a little different in the type of materials he used. He was the first to use oil paints.

Why Van Eyck is a Renaissance artist?

He posses many of the tools of the renaissance artist. He gave a 3-D appearance to a 2-D surface. He was also much more realistic than most artists in his paintings. You can also see the humanism in lots of his works. He really focuses on the features of the person. Unlike many renaissance artists he use oils which I think it makes his paintings look even more realistic.