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inventor of the technique. However the Early Netherlandish artists were the first to make it a useful mode of painting, and Van Eyck’s perfection of new and remarkable effects of the technique were instrumental in this. By the height of the Renaissance oil painting techniques spread through Northern Europe and eventually to Italy, almost completely replacing tempura painting on the continent. Van Eyck’s early mastering of this technique has led to him often being referred to as the ‘father of oil painting’.

Jan van Eyck Crucifixion 1420-25, Web Gallery of Art, Metropolitan Museum NY

Non-Religious works

Other important works which developed during this century included portraiture, tapestry design and secular paintings. In portraiture in particular the wealthy cities in the Netherlands produced numerous private commissions of both a religious and secular nature. Outstanding examples of

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