Hubert and Jan Van Eyck Hubert

c.1366-1426k c.1390-1441. Flemish painters. Hubert was called “second to none” on the inscription of the frame of the Ghent masterpiece, The Adoration of the Lamb, in the cathedral of St. Bavon. Apart from beginning this famous painting (which his brother finished in 1432) he is reckoned by many art historians to be the painter of The Three Marys at the Sepulchre in the Van Beuningen Collection, Rotterdam. The rest of his work is lost. Jan, however, is much better known. Between 1422 and 1424 he painted for John of Bavaria, bishop of Liège. In 1425 began his relationship with Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy. He was treated not as an artisan but as a friend, and he was also able to paint for wealthy Italians resident in the Netherlands. No painter has been more preoccupied with artifacts—e.g., the way a pin fits in a door hinge. This was probably because he pushed the problem of representation in art further than any other painter. The great emphasis on detail has the effect of spiritualizing the subject so that the division between secular and religious art is virtually done away with.

For a list of Jan's extant paintings and their whereabouts, see The Van Eycks (ed. R. Hughes, 1970).