Monday, October 24, 2016

Flemish 'Mystic Lamb' masterpiece restored after chaotic past

Officials unveil the restored exterior panels of "The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" at Saint Bavo Cathedral in Ghent on October 12, 2016.
GHENT (AFP).- A painstaking restoration of a 15th-century Flemish masterpiece is revealing the long-lost detail and splendor that helped make the altarpiece one of the world's most stolen artworks. "The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" by the Van Eyck brothers was unveiled 600 years ago at Saint Bavo's Cathedral in Ghent, but since then its full glory has dimmed, after being split into pieces, seized by Napoleon, then the Nazis, and nabbed by thieves. "You could say it is like the rediscovery of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel after its restoration," Marie Postec of Belgium's Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage told AFP. [link]

The giant altarpiece, which measures 4.4 metres by 3.4 metres (15 feet by 10 feet), is attributed to Hubert Van Eyck and his better-known brother Jan, and was completed in 1432 when Ghent in modern-day northern Belgium was the wealthy powerhouse of the European wool cloth trade.