About the Artist
Jan van Eyck deserves to be counted among the greatest painters of any era. His reputation, established during his lifetime, has continued undiminished to the present day. His close observation and meticulous technique captured the physical world with a degree of realism that has never been surpassed. But this naturalism was not an end in itself: instead, it mirrors and explicates, through layers of complex symbolism, the mysteries of divine creation.
This National Gallery of Art holiday card set depicts a detail from The Annunciation by Jan van Eyck. The inside greeting reads: "With all good wishes for Christmas and the New Year."
For all its highly convincing evocation of the material world, virtually every element in Van Eyck’s painting carries complex levels of meaning. His elaborate symbolism, which would have been fully grasped only by a small, well-educated elite, centers on the implications of the Annunciation as the transition to the new era of Grace brought about by Christ’s human birth and sacrifice.
- 16 card, 16 envelopes
- 5 x 7 inches