The sudden transition from the difficult tempera technique to the new method which afforded the artist so much greater facility, seems to have had a sort of hypnotic effect on the followers of Van Eyck. His pupils, find Inter the pupils of his pupils, no longer hampered by the earlier traditions, arrived at a too exact imitation of nature. Their process was such that the artist lost himself in an excess of detail, to the detriment of the picture as a whole. To be able to paint every detail accurately and with comparative ease was so exciting that they overlooked the importance of subordination and balance between the model, the color and the proportion in their pictures.
But if Van Eyck's education left traces of the guild's conventions, Hans Memling (1430-1495) Who followed him and who was not a victim of this education, arrived at an execution that in its absolute realism approached the effects of actual photography-enriched, however, by the superior material of paint. This technique must have continued in use until the middle of the sixteenth century, for we find mention by Carel Van Mander (I548-I606) that Jacques de Baker (I530-I560) had acquired great renown because he painted his light tones directly on the canvas in their true colors, instead of using white covered by glazes and Pieter Brueghel (the Elder, I525-1569), at the same time, seems to have gone a step further toward a more direct method of painting, although exactly what the difference was, we do not know.
Painting had now received the sudden and powerful impulse that was to bring it finally to the great painting of the Renaissance. Technical means alone, however, were not sufficient for the creation of a really great art and much progress in many fields was )let to be made. Each generation that followed was to add another stone to the building of the great edifice. It was the work of Van Eyck's successors, and the great achievements of the Renaissance as a whole, which brought about the perfection of both the techniques and materials of painting on the one hand, and of the artistic intelligence on the other.