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Painters in the Low Countries in the early 15th century such as Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden achieved a technical mastery of the medium of oil paint which they deployed with extraordinarily skill. It made them – and their successors – famous throughout Europe.

In large altarpieces as well as the small devotional paintings and portraits exhibited here these painters suggested realities by their ability to paint the effects of light both indoors and outside.

Jan van Eyck worked in Bruges, with its large population of Italian merchants, from whom he drew some of his clientele; Petrus Christus also worked in Bruges. Robert Campin was based in Tournai, while Rogier van der Weyden worked in Brussels, and was painter to the Burgundian court there. Dirk Bouts in Leuven (Louvain), Hans Memling in Bruges and Hieronymus Bosch in ‘s-Hertogenbosch were highly accomplished painters with an international clientele.