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Word Count: 700
Jan van Eyck was born in the North Eastern section of Holland in a town called Maaseyck in 1385 His earliest experience with art came from working in his older brothers workshop The workshop was located in the city of Liege which was a great art center in the 14th century Jan Van Eyck was prominent as a painter a courtier and diplomat From 1422 to 1424 he was in the service of John of Bavaria Count of Holland He later became court painter and varlet de chambre to Phillip the Good Duke of Burgundy for who he went to Portugal and Spain in 1428 After Phillips marriage to Isabella of Portugal in 1430 Jan Van Eyck settled in Bruges and married He died on July ninth 1441 He was credited with the invention of oil painting and although this may not be provable Van Eyck brought the new medium of oil and varnish to a high degree of awareness Several signed and dated paintings by him survive and he is known as the greatest artist of the Early Netherlandish School Perhaps his most famous artwork is the Ghent Altarpiece The Ghent Altarpiece is painted in oil on twelve panels of oak and is 375 centimeters high and 527 centimeters wide The altarpiece consists of three separate panels which contain 24 separate paintings The middle piece or the central panel is the biggest It is known as The Adoration of the Lamb and measures 1343 centimeters high and 2375 centimeters wide On each side there are two wings which close like doors over the center panel Van Eyck completed the altarpiece in 1432 when it was installed in the Vijd chapel in Saint Bavos Cathedral in Ghent where it still remains Several panels were misplaced in the nineteenth century but were discovered in 1920 and the altarpiece is now intact The Ghent Altarpiece became known as a guide and a sense
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