The Goldsmith Jan de Leeuw (1436)

Van Eyck, Jan (c.1390-1441)

The Goldsmith Jan de Leeuw
Oil on oak, 24.6 x 19.2 cm
Kunsthistorisches MuseumVienna

Signature: on the original frame the inscription: IAN DE (image of a lion) OP SANT ORSELEN DACH/DAT CLAER EERST MET OGHEN SACH. 1401 / GHECONTERFEIT NV HEEFT MIA IAN/VAN EYCK WEL BLIICT WANNEERT BEGA(N) 1436 +

The Flemish inscription on the original frame not only mentions the name and date of birth of the sitter, but also the painter and the year of origin of the portrait. It can be translated something like this: “Jan de (image of a lion) saw the light of day on St. Ursula’s Day 1401; Jan van Eyck has now portrayed me as he shows himself, when it happened in 1436.” Jan des Leeuw worked as a goldsmith in Bruges. He shows the viewer a ring, proving the pride of the craftsman in his skills. (KHM)

See also:

• Leeuw, Jan de (1401-after 1456)