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ARTH 375 Lecture Notes - Hubert Van Eyck, Jan Van Eyck, Turin National University Library

Art History
Course Code
ARTH 375
Ron Spronk Allcorrect

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Jan 29, 2012
-Jan Van Eyck> “King of Painters”
-reputation big early on> 16th centurt called king of painters
-born around 1390 (?)
-probably from Maaseik (from his name)> Belgium, close to German
and Holland border
-painters very mobile> went to where their opportunities were
Portrait of Cardinal Niccolo Albergati, 1431
> in Vienna
>underdrawing we see description of notes of local dialect of Maaseik
-he had a daughter> entered monastery in Maaseik
*circumstancial evidence that he is from there
-siblings: 2 bros and sister
>Hubert van Eyck started Ghent Alterpiece; known as best painter
ever by time he died; no attribution to him beside Ghent Altarpiece
>Lambert> know very little, painter in Bergudian court, helped settle
Jan‟s estate after his dead; number of paintings similar to Jan so we
assume the workshop continued in 1440‟s under Lambert with Jan‟s
-Barthelemy d‟Eyck (?) > unsure if related to Jan; “master of
shadows” illuminator
Three Maries at the Tomb, 1426> attributed to Hubert
-after Christ has risen from his tomb
-angel tells the Maries that Christ has risen from the dead
-landscape curious: left blocked off by rocks, golden rays
-composition: seen as if we‟re on the right
>may be the right part of a continuing altarpiece
-dendrochronology> suggests that it could have been done before
1426 (unsure, just possibility)
-some attribute it the Jan van Eyck> relating it to the Ghent Altarpiece
>but unsure who painted it, questionmarkcs
-Possibility that Jan trained in Hubert‟s workshop
*dates we do know
-1422-25 Jan gets money from County of Holland
-1424> listed as court poainter of count of Holland (John of Bavaria).
He and his painters paid for decorations and wall paintings at
-1425 John of Bavaria suddenly dies> Jan is out of a job
-later 1425 enters the service of Philip the good (Duke of Burgundy)

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-possibility that he and Hubert worked together between the months
of John of Bavaria‟s death and when he went to work with Philip the
>explain why their paintings so similar
Philip the Good (1396-1467)
-Valois Dynasty
-Son of John the Fearless; Grandson of Philip the Bold
-During his reign, Burgudy reaches its height of its prosperity;
commissions many artworks; becomes leading center of the arts
Jan becomes a „Valet de Chambre‟ for Philip> salary, pension; painter
but also a diplomat
>went on secret missions as envoy for the duke between 1426-1429
and again in 1436
-goal of one jouney to negotiate the 3rd marriage of Pjilip to Isabella
of Portugal who he painted twice on canvas (Philip could see her_
-he may have gone to the Holy Land
>important bc those who went to Holy Land would leave from Venic
>thus if did so we know he may have Italian influence
-Ghent Altarpiece open to public on May 6, 1432
-makes morgages paymets 1432 onwards
-marries „demoiselle‟ Margarete in 1433> suggests she may be lower
>suggests Jan‟s important status, he lifted status of painters
-first child 1435> godfather is Philip the Good
>points Jan‟s high status at court of Philip
-1435 his annual salary is converted to a lifelong pension> Philip
wants to make sure to keep him in his service, doesn‟t want to lose
>treasurer protests bc thinks its too high, Philip insists that they pay
-same year Treaty of Arras>peace treaty between France, England and
Burgundy. Cardinal Albergati was there as well
-Jan documented as almost an art dealer or intermediate between
Philp the Good and other artists
-when he dies in 1441 his widow received considerable high pension>
unusual for artists at the time
-widows and bro con‟t workshop
The Early Years:

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-1418-1425> John III is Duke of Baravaria is the count of Holland and
Zeeland; before this he was a Prince Bishop of Liege >how he may
have come to know Jan‟s work
-few traces of early work in The Hague have survived
-John III owned part of Tres Belles Heures de Notre-Dame come to be
known as Turin-Milan hours
-some illuminations are attributed to Hubert and/or van Eyck
Turin-Milan Hours
-John III owned part of it (2 sections)> missal and prayer book section
>how came to be known as book of hours
>Turin library burned down and destroyed in 1904> only black and
white photos exist
>Missal ended up in Milan, as the Milan Hours
>ended up being bought by Turin National Library: Turin-Milan Hours
- Master G of the Turin-Milan Hours> generally accepted that „G‟ is Jan
Master G, The Birth of St John , Turin-Milan Hours (missal)
>interior scene is precursor of 17th c genre scenes> all sorts of litte
things happening, common household ex. Dog and cat fighting
-same page, under image is another scene: the baptism of Christ by
Saint John the Baptist
>detail is 6cm high
>increadibly detailed and skilled: refeltion of sun on water, see
movement of water, see Holy Spirit coming
Mass of the Dead
-perspective based on observations rather than mathematical one
(several points of perspective)
>important to compare this one to jan van eyck, Madonna of the
church bc very similar interior of the church
-debate bc someone dates this after the Ghent Altarpiece, whereas
other date it in the 20s. Some don‟t even think is Jan
*for test: give Snyder date OR c. 20s-30s debate!
Crucifiction and Last Judgement
-the illuminations from “Hand G” have been critical in the attributions
of other unsigned, updated works of Hubert and/or Jan Eyck that are
thought to be early
>remains lots of debate
-left panel: crucifiction
-right: last judgement
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