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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

Jan van Eyck prints can help to bring the majesty of his work into your own home and here we discuss the different options available to you when selecting from the artworks available.

Despite a relatively small oeuvre, the options available from his career as art print reproductions are substantial. Many individual triptychs and other complex works can be cropped down to individual detailed areas that stand as artworks in their own right. One interesting aspect to his style was the use of background elements of symbolism and these must be considered when selecting your print to ensure that they are still visible and understood. In some cases, a small print will simply lose such details. The paintings section of this website features plenty of ideas for what you might choose as an art print, but once you start considering each individual element of his larger pieces, the choice is almost endless. Studying some of these larger works in detail will give you extra ideas.

One might consider Van Eyck's portraits to be most suitable to smaller prints, with detail being clear at that size. Large scale scenes like his Ghent Altarpiece may be lacking any real detail if choosing to feature the entire work. The Northern Renaissance remains a popular art movement which features a number of highly respected artists and their work generally is frequently reproduced. Van Eyck is just one of a number of famous names to take note of from this group. For example, you may also consider Albrecht Durer prints, or reproductions of Girl with a Pearl Earring by Vermeer or The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch. The copyright to paintings and frescoes from this period have long since expired, meaning art retailers are free to reproduce their work however they see fit. This ensures a great selection of companies to choose from, as well as meaning that all major works of the artist will be covered in their catalogue.

You will find Van Eyck to be particularly popular amongst the more traditional artists, partly thanks to the prominent nature of some of his better known works. North European art retains a high level of charm and techical respect, with this artist also famous for being at the forefront of spreading the techniques of oil painting across Flemish regions and later across the rest of the continent. In the modern world there is also a desire to reconnect with more traditional ideas, be them from Christianity or more general ideas around morality. Some find these periods more wholesome in that sense, but others simply appreciate the aesthetic value in the paintings of artists such as this. There is now room for all tastes, and a celebration of these different approaches used within art across the centuries, as well as a wider perspective that takes in other cultures and civilisations as well.

When selecting any art print for your home, one must consider a number of different factors. Firstly, what is the style of the artwork itself, as traditional artists such as Van Eyck are more suited to a small frame with inlay card than something more contemporary might be. The level of detail in these paintings is also considerable and so you might choose to reproduce a favourite element of a larger painting, so that one can enjoy specific elements of the incredible work of this artist. A small reproduction of a large triptych, for example, would not really be able to give you any idea at all of the work involved, although it may still look attractive. Some will perhaps pick a single panel from a triptych, essentially treating each panel as a separate painting as part of an overall series which is then installed and displayed together.

Most Popular Jan van Eyck Prints

Dutch, Belgian and Flemish art have retained a huge popularity and it is generally understood as to the influence that their leading exponents had on the rest of the continent. The strong maritime traditions found here also helped local artists to spread their reputations far and wide, in a similar way to how Japanese art had made its way into Europe. Van Eyck himself came towards the start of this process and is therefore considered particularly important, with many who followed on afterwards taking elements of his achievements and adding their own creativity on top of that. There are also elements to the content which many find charming, such as the landscapes and cityscapes which capture some of the local architecture, including small taverns and also the trademark windmills and narrow rivers. In fact, some of these characteristics can still be enjoyed there today in the more rural regions.

There are plenty of retailers offering Van Eyck prints to choose from, particularly in major countries where a more competitive environment exists. One should consider ordering from companies based in your own country as shipping costs can be fairly expensive in some cases, and you might also become liable for various import taxes too. Those ordering framed prints will need to consider the additional weight of their product, and the shipping costs that would be impacted by that. There is also a good variety of different frames too, with wooden contemporary ones being lighter than something more decorative and perhaps metallic. You might also order just the print itself, and then frame locally to avoid some of these potential problems. It is worth shopping around online to find the best quality print too, as this can vary between different retailers. Some of the institutions that display Van Eyck paintings will have reproduction prints of them too.

There are only a few paintings from this artist's career, and so in order to give their customers a greater variety of options, many have offered individual details from specific items as alternative artworks in their own right. Some of his more complex projects would have taken many months to complete and are not really suited to being a single print, where as each panel or section can be treated as a standard painting. It is really necessary to see the larger projects in person to truly understand and appreciate them, but unfortunately they are dispersed across Europe and so it is very rare to get the opportunity to see them together at the same time, though there was recently an exhibition which offered that very option. An excellent publication accompanied the exhibition and this provides one of the best and most comprehensive surveys of the artist's career to date.

Those interested in art from this region should also check out Bosch, Vermeer and Durer as mentioned elsewhere, but there are also plenty of others to check out. Rembrandt prints remain highly popular and he is considered one of the masters of dramatic lighting. There are watercolours from some that you might enjoy, but most go for the precise, bright oils as used by van Eyck. Dutch art goes much deeper than this and they specialised in several genres such as maritime art as well as still life pieces. They would spearhead the north of Europe for several centuries and some of their achievements would then feed into the progress of other nations, such as France and the UK. This sums up the general way of things, where different influences spread across different regions and then new artists take things on once more. Even today budding art students will be taught the qualities of artists such as these, and some of their techniques are still entirely relevant today, all these centuries later.