Friday, January 31, 2020

Up Close, There’s More to the Ghent Altarpiece Than the Lamb

By Nina Siegal
The Ghent Altarpiece, parts of which have been restored, at St. Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium, before a ceremony to unveil it on Jan. 24.Credit...
GHENT, Belgium — Hélène Dubois was frustrated. It was Friday morning, just hours before she was set to reveal the $2.4 million, multiyear restoration she had led on panels of one of the world’s great artistic treasures: “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb,” also known as the Ghent Altarpiece. But the lamb’s “new” face had already been seen by thousands, online. In the previous 48 hours, a side-by-side of the panel before and after restoration had gone viral on Twitter, with Smithsonian Magazine calling the new lamb “alarmingly humanoid” and users comparing it to the pouting fashionista Derek Zoolander. [More]