Van Eyck Year: Original lamb on Ghent Altarpiece uncovered in 2018

The original lamb that features on the Ghent Altarpiece has been uncovered after some painstaking work by specialists that are restoring the monumental work. The original lamb on the 15th century altarpiece hasn’t been visible for more than 400 years as it had been painted over. The Ghent Altarpiece was painted by the Van Eyck brothers and is considered to be a masterpiece of European art and one of the world’s treasures.

One of the members of the team that is restoring the work Nathalie Lacquière told VRT News that “The result is a surprise”.

It took her three weeks of painstaking work to reveal the original lamb. In the meantime, the Ghent Altarpiece has produced some more surprises.   

Last year a restoration team from the Royal Institute for Art Heritage (KIK) discovered that are large part of the central panel of the painting had been painted over.

In January 2018 they began removing the areas that had been painted over millimetre by millimetre. Almost six months later the results of their work are gradually becoming apparent.

The thing that catches the eye most is the lamb on the altar that is in the middle of the central panel. It had been known since 1950 that the original lamb had been painted over.   

© - Art in Flanders vzw

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