There are believed to be a number of copies made of this painting as well as some items that have been lost in the years that have passed since. We do know that, of course, Jesus appears many times within Van Eyck's career as do other Christian figures and themes. He was consistently requested to make use of these, and most of his work was comissioned by individuals who had an idea in mind already. Some of the patrons would even ask to be added into the piece themselves, as if to give them a divine standing in the eyes of the viewer, or so they hoped. The artist was highly skilled in portrait painting, but his skills spread much wider than that as he accepted different commissions. He also became talented in landscape art too, though well before this genre was accepted by art academics. Instead he would decorate the backgrounds of his portraits with stunning backdrops and incredible levels of detail.
If we browse this particular portrait of Christ we will find the figure staring straight back at us with a serious expression. His hair is long and dark, hanging down to below the shoulder level. His clothing is simple but decorative around the neck, with some simple jewellery suggesting the important role of this individual whilst also depicting him as a modest individual. His cheeks are reddened and his beard points out from the chin. He appears to be relatively youthful in this painting, though with some ageing around the eyes. One imagines that this piece may have been intended for use as a devotional artwork, where Christians could pray towards the figure in a moment of peace and tranquility within their own home.
The Groeningemuseum also own two other pieces linked to the artist, namely The Madonna with Canon van der Paele (1436) and Portrait of Margareta van Eyck (1439). Aside from these, you can also study some other Flemish and Netherlandish art from a number of other notable figures. For example, the stunning The Last Judgement from Hieronymus Bosch and members of his studio can be found here, along with items from the likes of Dirk Bouts, Hugo van der Goes, Adriaen Isenbrandt and Fernand Khnopff. This relatively lesser known institution is still full of exciting work from around the period in which Van Eyck himself would dominate, whilst also laying the groundwork for a number of other skilled artists to follow on in his footsteps in and around this part of Northern Europe in the centuries that followed.