Jan van Eyck, ‘The Annunciation’, ca. 1390-1441, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Andrew W. Mellon Collection 1937.1.39

Support: 92.7 x 36.7 cm (36 1/2 x 14 7/16 in.) framed: 102.2 x 55.9 x 8.9 cm (40 1/4 x 22 x 3 1/2 in.)

Image rights: Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

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About Jan van Eyck

The most famous of the van Eyck family of painters, Jan van Eyck brought a heightened degree of realism to the traditional themes and figures of late Medieval art. Among the earliest Dutch painters to use oil paint, the van Eycks developed glazing and wet-on-wet techniques that gave their pictures a greater sense of light and depth. The family is best known for creating the Ghent Altarpiece. Although unusual for the period, van Eyck signed his pictures, including his personal motto Als ich kan (As well as I can).

Dutch, 1390-1441, Maaseik, Belgium, based in Bruges, Belgium