About the Artist
It is a traditional belief that Jan van Eyck and his brother Hubert were natives of Maaseik, a town north of Maastricht. Jan van Eyck first appeared in The Hague, in October of 1422, as painter and varlet de chambre to John of Bavaria, Count of Holland. Since Van Eyck was referred to at that time as a "master", it seems likely that he was born no later than c. 1390. Following the death of John of Bavaria, Van Eyck moved to Bruges and on 19 May 1425 was appointed painter and varlet de chambre to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. Until the end of 1429 he resided mainly in Lille but, in addition to his duties as painter, Van Eyck was also entrusted with various secret missions. In 1427 he may have gone to Spain to negotiate a marriage between the Duke of Burgundy and Isabella of Aragon; this was not successful, but in 1428 and 1429 Van Eyck was in Lisbon, where a marriage contract between Philip the Good and Isabella of Portugal was signed, and in December 1429 Isabella, perhaps accompanied by Van Eyck, arrived in Flanders. Following the marriage of Phillip and Isabella in 1430, it is assumed that Van Eyck moved to Bruges where, with the exception of certain secret missions, he spent the rest of his life as court artist to Philip. He also undertook civic commissions; in 1435 he painted and gilded six statues and their tabernacles for the facade of the Town Hall of Bruges. Van Eyck died in late June 1441.
This framed print of Jan van Eyck's The Annunciation (1434/1436) is part of our Masterworks collection of reproductions, specially created using the Gallery's finest quality digital imaging. The image was printed to Gallery specifications and the frame was selected for a style appropriate to the period.
The Annunciation described by Saint Luke is interpreted in terms of actuality in this painting, which was probably once the left wing of a triptych. The forms—even that of the archangel—seem to have weight and volume. Light and shadow play over them in a natural way, and with amazing skill, Jan van Eyck has distinguished between the textures of materials ranging from hard, polished stone to the soft, fragile petals of flowers.
Yet religious symbolism speaks from every detail, expounding the significance of the Annunciation, and the relationship of the Old Testament to the New. The structure of the church can be interpreted symbolically; the dark upper story, with its single, stained–glass window of Jehovah, may refer to the former era of the Old Testament, while the lower part of the building, already illuminated by the "Light of the World" and dominated by transparent, triple windows symbolizing the Trinity, may refer to the Era of Grace of the New Testament.
- 16 x 6 inches (print), 18.6 x 8.5 inches (framed)
- Artist grade canvas with UV topcoat
- Archival pigment inks
- Antiqued wood frame with distressed finish
- Ready to hang