Jan van Eyck (1390 – 1441) was such an exceptional artist, he was once credited as the inventor of oil painting. Although van Eyck did not invent oils, he pioneered their use to express rich colors and minute details. His painstakingly realistic pieces abounded in texture, atmospheric light and dimension. Van Eyck served as the court artist for royalty, and was commissioned by wealthy Italian residents of the Netherlands. Van Eyck’s masterful works hang in many prestigious museums, including the Louvre, London’s National Gallery and Washington, D.C.’s National Gallery of Art.