Jan van Eyck was highly skilled in a number of different artistic genres and these would be combined together in some of his major works. For example within this central panel you will see a combination of architectural touches from the series of pillars and decorative elements. They frame the portrait of the Virgin and child who are placed directly in the centre. Under their feet lie a beautifully styled carpet which stretches across the full vertical length of the painting. Attention to detail right across the artwork was another aspect of this artist's work and in other examples you will see myriad of tiles, each with their own specific pattern that was taken directly from Spanish styles of that period. In the vast majority of cases it would be the central panel which serves the great importance of any triptych ensemble, and that is very much the case here with the winged artworks working as supporting elements only, as stunning as they also are.
Triptchs were particularly common during the 14th to 16th centuries, and allowed a level of creativity for artists who had to plan out the different panels individually, with an eye on how they would look together in the completed piece. In this case the artist would have to have lined up the architectural flourishes to match from one panel to another which would have been a challenge. He did often use assistants to help out with some of the less significant parts of the composition, though they were rarely able to achieve the levels of quality that he could. He also worked alongside his brothers too, and they were considered accomplished artists in their own right though would never achieve the same level of success as their brother Jan.
This painting can be found in Dresden as part of an impressive selection of work from the old masters, with a particular focus on the Netherlandish, German and Flemish artists. To possess anything from Van Eyck's career is a huge honour for any gallery because of the incredible reputation that he holds, as well as the small number of works that exist from his career. This piece, for example, can be confidently attributed to him as well, making its value astronomical, not that its owner is ever likely to want to sell it. There remains a considerable interest in the old masters across Europe, even though so much contemporary art now exists.