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This impassive face is almost certainly that of Jan van Eyck himself, and the painting a powerful statement of his artistic skill. His motto, Als Ich Can, is painted in Greek letters on the upper frame; the words are an abbreviation of a Flemish saying and a pun on Jan’s name: ‘as I[ich/Eyk] can [but not as I would]’. The bottom inscription is in abbreviated Latin and says, ‘Jan van Eyck made me on 21 October 1433’.
Oil on oak
H 26 x W 19 cm