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Distributed for Reaktion Books

Jan van Eyck within His Art

A biography of the Belgian artist, famous for his hyper-real paintings.
Jan van Eyck (1390–1441) was one of the most inventive and influential artists in the entire European tradition. The realism of his paintings continues to astound observers more than six centuries on, even though our world is saturated by high-resolution images. However, viewers today are as like to be absorbed by Van Eyck’s personality as his realism. While he sometimes directly painted himself into his works, he also suggested his presence through an array of inscriptions, signatures, and even a personal motto. Incorporating a wealth of new research and recent discoveries within a fresh exploration of the paintings themselves, this book reveals how profoundly Jan van Eyck transformed the very idea of what an artist could be.

248 pages | 65 color plates, 5 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Renaissance Lives

Art: Art--Biography, European Art

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“Throughout the pages of this beautifully written book . . . Acres invites us to see what this supremely inventive artist was seeking to do with his arresting depictions, and aims to give meaning to the many astounding and delightful details of Van Eyck’s work. This is a study not only of Van Eyck as an individual, but of Van Eyck’s interests, talents, inventiveness, and commitment to communication and signification, by looking not just at, but within the art of Van Eyck.”

Beth Williamson, professor of medieval culture and chair in the history of art, University of Bristol

Table of Contents

Introduction: As I Can
1 A Career
2 The Painter at Work
3 Hubert, Jan and the Ghent Altarpiece
4 Annunciations and Other Encounters
5 In the Company of the Virgin and Child
6 Situating Saints
7 Portraiture and Presence
Epilogue: Another Mirror


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