The Netherlands 1400-1450
Painters in the Low Countries during the early 15th century, most famously Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden, achieved a technical mastery of oil paint which made them celebrated throughout Europe.
In their large altarpieces, as well as in the small devotional paintings and portraits exhibited here, they suggested realities by their ability to paint the effects of light on surfaces both natural, like the human face, and artificial, as in fabrics and furniture. These achievements are particularly evident in their small paintings of indoor scenes in which objects and figures are lit from varying light sources.
Van Eyck, and later Petrus Christus, worked in Bruges, where they found clients among the large population of Italian merchants. Robert Campin was based in Tournai, while van der Weyden, trained by Campin, achieved success in Brussels, where he was painter to the Burgundian court.