Painting with oil on canvas did not become popular until the 15th and 16th centuries and was a hallmark of Renaissance art . In Northern Europe the important and innovative school of Early Netherlandish painting is in an essentially Gothic style, but can also be regarded as part of the Northern Renaissance , as there was a long delay before the Italian revival of interest in classicism had a great impact in the north. Painters like Robert Campin and Jan van Eyck , made use of the technique of oil painting to create minutely detailed works, correct in perspective, where apparent realism was combined with richly complex symbolism arising precisely from the realistic detail they could now include, even in small works. In Early Netherlandish painting, from the richest cities of Northern Europe, a new minute realism in oil painting was combined with subtle and complex theological allusions, expressed precisely through the highly detailed settings of religious scenes. The Mérode Altarpiece (1420s) of Robert Campin , and the Washington Van Eyck Annunciation or Madonna of Chancellor Rolin (both 1430s, by Jan van Eyck ) are examples.  For the wealthy, small panel paintings , even polyptychs in oil painting were becoming increasingly popular, often showing donor portraits alongside, though often much smaller than, the Virgin or saints depicted. These were usually displayed in the home.
The French style was introduced rapidly into England. Although Henry III was no book worm, a number of manuscripts produced for his family contain illustrations in the same dainty and minute style of Louis IX's artists. Likewise some large-scale paintings, notably the "Westminster Retable," survive in Westminster Abbey. Later changes in English painting, exemplified in works such as the Queen Mary Psalter (, British Museum), included ever more lavish border decorations. See also: Making of Illuminated Manuscripts .