Hubert van Eyck

This painting from around 1410 shows what people are thinking. It may have been begun by Hubert van Eyck, and completed by his more famous brother Jan. Consider first the Three Marys, at the empty tomb:

The first is sad, simply mourning. The second is trusting, being told something and having faith. But the third is thinking, assessing, coming to her own conclusion.

Here is the Angel, holding forth the glad tidings:

The face is closer to the not quite human expressionlessness of earlier art, though the gesture of the arms is persuasive. The soldiers are cast into sleep.

I publish paintings because I wanted free pictures for my posts, and don’t devote enough time or energy to my own photography, but also because I love them, and want you to see at least all the beauty I see in them.

2 thoughts on “Hubert van Eyck

  1. Wonderful, Clare, thank you! 🙂 They are very true to life. I’m reading “Katherine” by Anya Seton, about Katherine Swynford, so we must both be going through a late medieval phase.


    • Arguably the van Eycks’ sensibility is early modern, even if late Mediaeval attitudes persisted elsewhere. Here’s a detail from part of a diptych, The Three Marys at the tomb, by Lorenzo Monaco. It is dated 1408, two years before the van Eyck. The women have unreadable, pious expressions.

      Here’s St Margaret and the Dragon by Agnolo Gaddi, from 1390. His father was a pupil of Giotto. Her face is serene.

      You may remember James I on his return from captivity in 1424 and instituting a programme of legislation in the Estaitis being called a “Renaissance prince”.


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