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Jan Van Eyck

By | September 2013
Page 1 of 2
Jessica Carroll
August 21, 2013

Jan van Eyck

Many artistic people show symbolism in many different ways. Jan van Eyck demonstrated an immense ability in this area. Although Jan Van Eyck's date of birth is unclear, c. 1395 or sometime before this date is widely accepted as a best guess. For this time, he was one of the most advanced artists, especially because of the details in which he used. The specific type of art that Jan van Eyck did was oil paintings. Next to nothing is known about Jan van Eyck’s brother. Many of his paintings were completed by Jan, which leads to a conclusion that Hubert may have taught Jan a great deal about art. But Jan van Eyck’s gifting was in oil, different from traditional Netherland art. His use of oil paints in his detailed panel paintings resulted in him being known as the father of oil painting. Both Giorgio Vasari, (in his Lives of the Artists, 1550) and Karel van Mander (in The Lives of the Illustrious Netherlandish and German Painters) described oil painting as a sudden technical innovation that was discovered by Jan van Eyck after much experimentation. He was not a typical renaissance artist. Almost nothing is known of his early life but we do know that he entered the service of Philip the good, Duke of Burgundy in 1425. Philip paid a salary to Van Eyck. This was very unusual as most artists of the period relied on individual commissions for their livelihoods. Oil paintings had already discovered, but he mastered this art form. Many renaissance artist were not the first to master a medium, instead they leaned from other famous artists. In specific, ‘The Arnolfini Wedding,’ a skillfully painted portrait of what is thought to be a private wedding, has such great detail for this time period. The numerous amounts of different features of symbolism in this painting are overwhelming. From the shoes being off (representing sanctity), to the...
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