On Thursday, 26 May (Ascension Day) our museums will be closed in the afternoon.


Madonna with Canon Joris van der Paele, Jan van Eyck


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Jan van Eyck is the most famous Flemish primitive. Early in the 15th century, he was court painter to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. After the world famous Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, this is his next greatest preserved work. Mary is sitting in the middle with her child. Left of the throne stands Saint Donatian, patron saint of the Bruges church for which Van Eyck painted this masterpiece. On the right we see client Canon Joris van der Paele and his patron Saint George. Van Eyck’s realism is impressive and the details are clear. Note the reflections in the helmet and armour of Saint George. The frame is original and includes the artist’s name, something highly innovative in the 15th century.