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Jan Van Eyck Wall Art

Jan Van Eyck's date of birth is not known. The only traceable record was from the court of John of Bavaria, where payments were made to him between 1422 and 1424 as court painter. John of Bavaria died in 1425 and van Eyck entered the service of Duke Philip, the influential and powerful Valois prince. Van Eyck resided in Lille for a year and then moved to Bruges. A number of documents published in the 20th century record his activities while he was serving Philip. Van Eyck worked on several projects which likely entailed more than painting and also was sent on several missions on behalf of the Duke. The precise nature of these works is obscure, with the exception of two portraits of Isabella of Portugal, which he painted on request by Philip as a member of a 1428 delegation to seek her hand.

As "valet de chambre" and a painter to the Duke, he was exceptionally well paid. Van Eyck's monthly salary was quite high when he was first engaged; yet it was still doubled twice in the first few years. He was also given special bonuses. This indicates that Van Eyck's person and art were held in extraordinarily high regard. A document from 1435 shows that the Duke scolded his treasurers for not paying Van Eyck his salary, arguing that he (Van Eyck) would leave and that the Duke would not be able to find his equal in his "art and science" anywhere. Van Eyck was named "the leading painter" of his day. He died in Bruges and was buried there in the Church of St Donatian in 1441.
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