Art of the 15th to early 17th century in Flanders. The precursors of the Flemish school were located in Dijon, the first capital of the dukes of Burgundy, who established a powerful Flemish-Burgundian political alliance that lasted from 1363 to 1482. Philip III (the Good) moved the Burgundian capital to Bruges and in 1425 hired Jan van Eyck as his painter. The next generation of artists built on van Eyck's heritage and, toward the end of the 15th century, began looking to Italy for pictorial inspiration. Rogier van der Weyden, Petrus Christus, Dirck Bouts, Hugo van der Goes, Hans Memling, and Gerard David brought innovation, but little of their work compared to van Eyck's artistic vision. In the 16th century Pieter Bruegel the Elder, under the influence of Hiëronymus Bosch, depicted peasant life with an eye for the grotesque. The great master of the 17th century, Peter Paul Rubens, demonstrated unrivaled skill in oil painting; his style epitomized the Flemish Baroque period. See also Early Netherlandish art.
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