Characterised by idealism and experimentation with perspective, Flemish Art thrived in the 15th century with artists such as van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Hans Memling and Dirk Bouts. They specialised in portrait painting with religious themes and complicated iconography.

In the 16th century travel to Italy became easier resulting in many of the Flemish artists beginning to display techniques learnt from the Renaissance artists and architects. Key figures at this time included Patenier, Elsheimer and Massys.