Ghent Altarpiece Restoration Deemed Accurate by Researchers

By Clair Selvin
Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, 1432. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Researchers at the University of Antwerp and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., have released a study supporting the restoration last year of the Ghent Altarpiece (1432) by Northern Renaissance painter Jan van Eyck. Critics of the restoration had called attention to work done on a central panel of the work depicting the “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb.” Last year’s restoration effort left the lamb depicted in the work with new, human-like facial features, including what seemed to be new pairs of eyes and lips. The updated lamb shocked some in the art world at the time of its unveiling, but a new paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances asserts that the restoration of its appearance is consistent with its original 15th-century depiction. [More
Ghent Altarpiece: Lamb's 'alarmingly humanoid' face surprises art world