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pallet was last employed, according to Vaernewyk, at Yprès, where he left unfinished an altar-piece of varied subjects, commissioned of him by the abbot of St. Martin's monastery, in that town.' His death took place at Bruges, in 1440-41 ; and we learn, from the registers of the chapter, that he was buried in the cemetery outside the church of St. Donat; that his funeral cost the large sum of 12 livres parisis; that the ringing of the bells in his honour cost 24 sols parisis; and that on the 21st March, 1441, his body was moved out of the cemetery into the church itself, at the request of his brother Lambert, and placed in a vault near
the font.* His will was proved in 1442.
* Annales d'Ypres-accounts of the brotherhood of Grey Friars (Graeuwe Broeders), in De Bast. Appendix to Dr.Waagen, Ueb. Hub. & Joh. v. Eyck. “Anno 1445, heeft meester Joannes van Eycken eene befaemden schilder, binnen Yper geschildert dat overtreffelick tafereel, t'welcke gestellt wiert in den choor van St. Maertens, tot een gedachtenis van den eerweerdigen heere n. m. v. Maelbeke, abt ofte proost v. S. Maert. Kloster die dar voor begraven ligt.” The date 1445 is probably a clerical error. It leads some writers, however, to the belief that another John Van Eyck lived in 1445, of which we have no proof. * “ Computatio Johannis civis, canonici, de bonis fabrice ecclesie beati Donatiani Brugensis, anni 1440, facto capitulo, anno 1441. Receptum ex sepulturis mortuorum, et redemptione funeralium. Item.-Pro sepulturamagistri Johannis Eyck pictoris XII lib. par. Receptum ex campanis mortuorum. Item.-Ex campana magistri Johannis Eyck pictoris XXIIII sol par.” Extract from the Acts Capitular of St. Donat of Bruges. C. Cartom, ut sup., pp. 274-5. “ Eadem die (21 Martii, 1441) ad preces Lamberti fratris quondam Johannes de Eyck, solempnissimi pictoris domini mei, concesserunt quod corpus ipsius, quod jam sepultum in ecclesie ambitu, transferatur, de licentià episcopi, et ponatur in ecclesia juxta fontes salvo jure anniversarii et fabrice.” In the margin are these words :-“ Concessio sepulturae Johanni pictori”-Carton, ut sup., p. 287.
Margaret was born after John Van Eyck," but remained a student and assistant in the school of Hubert Van Eyck at Ghent. The same record which discovered to us the name of Hubert as connected with the guild of painters at Ghent, in 1412, contains the notice of Margaret's admission in 1418. She may have devoted her brush more to miniatures than to pictures on panel; but her works have perished, and her name is not discovered on any of the paintings of the period. Lucas de Heere and Van Mander say that Margaret died very shortly after Hubert, and was buried by his side. She had devoted herself to art,“ preserving her spinsterhood through life" for it.
John's widow lived in the Torrenbrugsken for two years after the painter's death, and then sold the house. It passed from her to one Hermann Reyssenburg, from him to one Gerard Pluvier (1477), and, finally, to the present holders, the Serveytens' family. The records of Bruges preserve one notice of the widow of Van Eyck Ĩ
1 V. Mander, ut sup., p. 199. Vaernewyk, ut sup., p. 119. 2 V. Mander, p. 202.
3 “ Computatio Gualteri Diedolf, presbyteris canonici de bonis fabrice ecclesie Sancti Donatiani Brugensis, anni 1442, facto capitulo 1443. Receptum ex testamentis et legatis fidelium defunctorum. Item.--Ex testamento Johannis Eyck, pictoris XLVIII sol par."
Same entry until 1443. Extract from acc. ut supra. Carton, ut sup., pp. 276-7.
“Computatio bonorum officii obedientie beati Donatiani Brugensis pro anno 1440 facto capitulo secundum custum antiqui et novi librorum antiquis impa .... extractis et deductis per Jacobum monachi capellañum et receptorum officii prædicti in anno 1441.
Item.-Receptum anno 1441 Victua Johannis de Eycke XXX sol par.” Communication of Mr. De Stoop.
4 Messager des Sciences et des Arts. 8vo. Gand. 1824. p. 51.
She seems to have died about 1448, when her daughter, Lyennie Van Eyck, retires to a convent in her father's native town of Maaseyck. “A Lyennie (? Hyennie) van der Ecke fille de Jehan van der Eicke,” says G. Pousset in his account for 1448-49, “jadis paintre et valet de chambre de M.D.S. pour don que M.D.S. lui a fait pour une fois pour Dieu et eulmosne, pour say aidier a mettre religieuse en l'église et monestère de Mazeck au pays de Liège ... XXIII fr.” " Lambert Van Eyck, whose name appears in the accounts of 1431, as employed on certain business for the Duke of Burgundy, ceases to be noticed after 1441.” The dispersion of the painter's family seems, therefore, to have been complete. The name of Van Eyck appears, however, to have been common even in the household of the Dukes. We find, in 1427, “Jehan van Heyk, escuier; 1434-35, Hayne v. Heyk, horse-dealer; 1435-36, Henry Deick, Simon van d. Eyke, cutler; besides Peter, John, Gerard, Engelbert, Michel, Jacques, Rudolph, and a second Henry van Eyck.” Abbé Carton, whose praiseworthy researches have been most useful, found the name of Wan Eyck no less frequent in other places." In the records of the booksellers and illuminators of Bruges are Claeys van den Eyck, member of the guild in 1458-59; De vrouw v. d. Eyck, a member in 1478-79; and Hendric v. d. Eech, in 1481-82. Mr. Goetghebuer discovered one Jan van Hyke, receiver of the hospital of St. Bavon, lez Gand, in 1346. The name of Wan der Eyken is still more common. The only records which have not been noticed in reference to John Van Eyck, are two; one of salary paid, in 1432, the other of money given by him to an illuminator of Bruges for a MS. for the Duke.” The epitaph of John Van Eyck still stood in the sixteenth century, in St. Donat, and was inscribed as follows, on a pillar in that church:“Hic jacet eximiä clarus virtute Joannes, In quo picturae gratia mira fuit; Spirantes formas, et humum florentibus herbis Pinxit, et ad vivum quodlibet egit opus. Quippe ille Phidias et cedere debet Apelles: Arte illi inferior ac Polycletus erat, Crudeles igitur, crudeles dicite parcas. Quae nobis talem eripuere virum. Actum sit lacrymis incommutabile fatum; Wivat ut in coelis jam deprecare Deum.” Funeral masses for the repose of the painter's soul were celebrated yearly in St. Donat; and the custom was still kept up in each July for upwards of three centuries after his death, till the first French revolution put an end to this, amongst other ceremonies, which produced an annual revenue to the church of 34 gros."
* De Laborde, Les Ducs de B., ut sup. vol. i. p. 395-6.
2 “A Lambert de Heck frère de Johannes de Heck p. de M.D.S. pour avoir esté a plusieurs fois devers M.S. p. aucunes besongnes que M.S. woulait faire ... WII l. IX s.”—De Lab., ut sup. vol. i. p. 257. Gachard, Rapport sur les arch. de l'ancienne chambre des Comptes de Flandres à Lille, p. 268.
* De Laborde, ut sup. vol. i. Introd. p. xxxvii.
* C. Carton, Annales de la Societé d’Emulation de Bruges, tom. v. 2° Serie, No. 3-4, p. 263.
THE WORKS OF HUBERT AND JOHN VAN EYCK.
THERE are no towns or monuments on the Continent containing such slight traces of schools of art as those which crowd the Netherlands. In Italy palaces and churches tell the history of painting. Divided among petty states and principalities, at a time when art progressed, Italian cities had each a school which expended its energies where it was nurtured,—the chiefs alone wandering from place to place, as fancy struck them, or the fame of their talent made them welcome. The pictures which they produced, and the buildings which they adorned, are in great part entire. No envious hands have destroyed or overthrown them. And when we visit church and palace in the order of the schools, their progress, their perfection and decline, are told before us. Not so in Belgium. Its cities and its monuments afford no clue to the history of painting. Foreign despotism, the fury of religious wars, the fanaticism of intolerant sectarians, have weighed upon the country, destroyed the landmarks, and led to the disappearance of pictures. Art in Belgium is represented by cathedrals and town-halls, but little else remaining.
This result may be attributed to numerous causes. We have said elsewhere that mural painting was little known, or practised, in the Netherlands as it had been in