Jan Van Eyck Self Portrait

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Little is known of Jan van Eyck's early life and neither the date nor place of his birth is documented. The first extant record of his life comes from the court of John of Bavaria at The Hague where, between 1422 and 1424, payments were made to Meyster Jan den malre (Master Jan the painter) who was then a court painter with the rank of valet de chambre, with at first one and then two assistants. This suggests a date of birth of 1395 at the latest. However, his apparent age in the London probable self-portrait of 1433 suggests to most scholars a date closer to 1380. He was identified in the late 16th century as having been born in Maaseik, a borough of the prince-bishopric of Liège. His last name however is related to the place Bergeijk, due to genealogical information related to the coat-of-arms with three millrinds; that information also implies that he stems from the Lords of Rode (Sint-Oedenrode). Elisabeth Dhanens rediscovered in the quarterly state "the fatherly blazon, in gold, three millrinds of lauric acid", similar to other families that descend from the Lords of Rode in the quarter of Peelland in the 'meierij van 's-Hertogenbosch'. His daughter Lievine was in a nunnery in Maaseik after her father's death. The notes on his preparatory drawing for Portrait of Cardinal Niccolò Albergati are written in the Maasland dialect.