Shirley Smith

Renaissance Art Historian

Tel. +44 (0)1728 638 271

Email. [email protected]


The Garden House, Bruisyard,

Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 2ED

Jan van Eyck, Artist and Ambassador

Jan van Eyck is today renowned for the depth and luminosity of his paintings, whether of the Virgin and Child, or the wealthy merchant Giovanni Arnolfini, and the numerous men and women he met while working in the Court of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. His ability to capture the gleam of the Virgin's crown or the reflective light of the Flemish landscape was largely due to his revolutionary technique in his use of oil.


However, he was not only a court artist but also a valued ambassador, sent by the Duke on numerous diplomatic errands. This lecture will study the paitings of van Eyck and of the people he painted both as works of art and as a reflection of the times in which he lived.








Jan van Eyck Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini & his Wife 1434

Image source: Web Gallery of Art