Robert Campin is generally accepted (but not universally) as the painter who was previously identified as "The Master of Flémalle." Born c. 1380 Campin is considered to be one of the first artists to depict realistic interpretations of his painted subjects.
Along with his contemporary, Jan van Eyck, he was also among the first to experiment with oil paints.
Campin worked in the town of Tournai, on the southern border of Flanders and became a citizen of that town in 1410. It would appear that he held some civic office in Tournai but lost his post due to a scandal involving adultery and the keeping of a mistress.
These misdemeanours, in addition to his involvement in political disturbances within the city, resulted in Campin being exiled for a year. However, due to the intervention on his behalf of Countess Jacqueline of Hainault, his punishment was reduced to a fine.
In 1427 Campin took two apprentices into his workshop: Jacquelot Daret and Rogier van der Weyden (at this time Van der Weyden was known as Rogelet de le Pasture.)
The artistic styles of Robert Campin, Van der Weyden and Jan van Eyck are often intertwined making the attribution of works to these artists difficult.
In particular distinguishing the paintings of Campin and Rogier still manages to create debate among some scholars to this day.