In the 15th century he was the most famous painter in Europe. He was hired by duke Philipe the good of Burgundy, and his work ‘Annunciation’ is one of the jewels of the permanent collection in the museum. The Thyssen-Bornemisza museum presents its new exhibition: Jan Van Eyck – Grisailles.
The grisaille technique is based on the graduated application of a single colour, usually grey or brown, to create the illusion of a statue. A nickname for grisailles in ‘Witjes’, named after the Dutch painter Jacob de Wit, who was known for using this technique.
From 3rd of November until 31st of January, you can visit for the very first time an exhibition of Grisailles. It will consist in an overview of artworks from the late middle ages and Renaissance, paintings as well as textiles, ivory and ceramics. Like we said before, the diptych ‘Annunciation’ is a typical example of a grisaille. It shows the angel Gabriel appearing to Maria, and on the frame is engraved the first and last sentence from the dialogue. This is typical for Van Eyck, to mention explicitly the theme.
One of the biggest mysteries in the world of art is related to Van Eyck. At the Saint Bavo cathedral in Ghent (Belgium), you can admire the altarpiece ‘Lamb of God’ that he painted together with his brother. The painting consists of multiple wooden panels but there is one missing… 75 years ago, the panel ‘De Rechtvaardige Rechters’ (The Just Judges) was stolen from the cathedral and has been lost ever since. The only suspect confessed on his deathbed, but his number was up before giving any more details about the hiding place. Some say the painting never left the cathedral, others point at the Nazi’s and even the royal family was once accused. A lot of amateur detectives are still looking for it, and once in a while some of them have an epiphany and they alarm the entire police force because they think they have found the hiding place. The Belgian government encourages this search; in 2008 for example they dug a hole of 5 square metres and 1 metre deep in a parking garage after a tip off.
Now it’s your turn! Maybe you will find a lead at the exhibition in Madrid? Anyhow, it’s the perfect opportunity to admire this unique collection of Van Eyck. And for a stylish and affordable stay, rent the best apartments in Madrid!