Jan Van Eyck in Bruges

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Jan Van Eyck in Bruges

February 15, 2020 - 17:41

This exhibition focuses on two masterpieces by Burgundian court painter Jan van Eyck: "Our Lady with the Child Jesus, St. George, St. Donatian and Canon van der Paele" from 1436, and the portrait of his wife "Margareta van Eyck" from 1439. 
March 12 to July 12 in the Groeningemuseum


The oil painting of “Our Lady with the Child Jesus, St. George, St. Donaas and canon van der Paele” is undoubtedly the showpiece of the Bruges Groeninge Museum.Van van Eyck was born around 1400 in the Limburg town of Maaseik. Around 1432 he settled in Bruges. There he had, until his death in 1441, a studio with a large number of employees. Van Eyck's representation of light and its effects on the visible world represented a fundamental innovation in art. He was the first to succeed in convincingly evoking a tangible reality in painting.

Van Eyck settles in Bruges in 1432 and marries Margareta van Eyck in 1432 or 1433. The portrait he painted of her (1439) is the first known portrait of a painter's wife. You can't get any closer to the person Jan van Eyck and his intimate atmosphere.

He caused a revolution in the history of painting in the Netherlands between around 1420 and 1441. His work abruptly ends the refined 'international style' that dominates art at that time.

The artist set himself up as a true innovator. His work determined the history of painting. He is best known for his masterful mastery of the oil painting technique. An advantage of oil paint, in combination with his groundbreaking craftsmanship, was that he was able to reproduce every aspect of reality, from fabrics to precious gems and even natural phenomena, making his paintings extremely realistic.

He was one of the first painters to adopt an individual identity for themselves, rather than just being craftsmen. He signed his paintings, which was fairly unusual at the time.


the greatest painter of his time!

Van Eyck is in the highest circles all his life. He is greatly appreciated and well paid for it. He holds the title of "varlet de chambre" (room servant) of the Burgundian duke Philip the Good (1396-1467) and must be available at all times. He was certainly the most famous painter in Europe during his life (1390-1441). His fame reached as far as Italy. Ciriaco de 'Pizzicolli praised him in 1449 and for the humanist Bartolomeo Fazio called him “the greatest painter of his time”.

In addition, the exhibition also focuses on the figure of Joris van der Paelen, who made an impressive career at the papal curia in Rome, in very turbulent times. He witnessed the power games around the Pope and the Anti-Pope, was involved in negotiations around the Hundred Years War and the Council.


When? March 12 to July 12

Where?: Groeninge Museum,  Dijver 12, 8000 Bruges

Open: Tuesday - Sunday: 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM (Cllosed on Mondays).