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Hubert van Eyck

(d. 1426)


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(d. 1426) and

(d. 1441),

Flemish painters. Jan became court painter to Philip, Duke of Burgundy, in 1425, and probably in 1430 settled in Bruges. The Ghent Altarpiece, for which the brothers are renowned, is a huge polyptych of twelve oak panels arranged in two layers, the outer panels painted on both sides. They depict the Adoration of the Lamb, Christ enthroned, and other subjects. A quatrain on the frame asserts that it was begun by Hubert and finished by Jan in 1432, but Hubert's connection with it has sometimes been denied. From the 16th cent. the van Eycks were believed to have invented oil painting; this is clearly untrue, but they (or Jan, as no work is known which is certainly Hubert's) made technical advances which permitted unprecedented realism of detail and richness of colour.

Subjects: Christianity — Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).


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