Famed for his focused observation of nature, Flemish painter Jan van Eyck (c. 1395–1441) studied fauna and flora in their natural environment and under carefully chosen lighting conditions, and then achieved a breathtaking and convincing realism in his paintings.
Each panel is a collection of minuscule details rendered with superb clarity from foreground to background—or at least that is the impression at first glance. As this book reveals, that is precisely where Van Eyck’s exceptional talent lay: He understood that the human brain is able to supplement visual perception where necessary. Here, details from Van Eyck’s paintings are organized by such themes as nature, architecture, daily life, fabrics, glass, jewelry and mirrors, and portraits. Opening with a biographical note and an essay on the technique of oil painting on panel, the authors explain the significance of the individual details and how Van Eyck achieved his innovative artistic results.
With a preface by contemporary painter Luc Tuymans, this book is an unprecedented look at the work of a popular master.