Madonna and Chancellor Rolin

Jan van Eyck. Madonna and Chancellor Rolin. 1435. Louvre, Paris.

Jan van Eyck was active in the time of the Northern Renaissance and is considered one of the best artists of that time. The date of his birth is unknown (possibly before 1395). He moved to the city of Bruges, which was the favorite city of the Dukes of Burgundy. He entered service for the powerful and influential Philip the Good (“Jan Van Eyck,” 2012). The Medici Family also opened up a branch of their bank in Bruges, which opened many doors for opportunities. The Medici family also supported many painters and architects. Van Eyck is credited with the invention of the oil-glazing technique, which replaced the earlier egg-tempera method (“The Northern Renaissance,” n.d.). A few of his paintings include “Portrait of Giovanni Amolfini and his Wife,” “The Ghent Altarpiece,” and “Madonna in the Church.

This artwork “Madonna and Chancellor Rolin,” illustrates the influence of royalty on van Eyck. In the picture is Chancellor Rolin, Duchy of Burgundy. This painting first caught my eye because of the angel placing the crown onto the Virgin’s head. The baby is on “platform” on the Virgin’s legs, which means it is on the “Throne of Wisdom,” while being blessed by Rolin. The book is thought to be the “Book of Hours,” a devotional book (“Madonna of Chancellor…,” 2012). Eyck shows in great detail the beautiful architecture: the carvings on the walls, the tile on the floor, and the glass windows. Of course the scenery outside is gorgeous: the children enjoying the view, the town to the left and right, the mountains, the river and the bridge. The features of their clothing are in fine quality, as well as the hems of each robe.

Works Cited

“Jan Van Eyck.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 May 2012. Web. 31 May 2012. <;.

“Madonna of Chancellor Rolin.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 29 May 2012. Web. 31 May 2012. <;.

“The Northern Renaissance.” The Northern Renaissance. Web. 31 May 2012. <;.