Highlights of the restored panels of The Ghent Altarpiece
It was dismantled, stolen, moved and damaged many times over.
After World War I, it was reassembled in the Saint Bavo’s Cathedral, but in WWII the whole Altarpiece was taken by the Germans, who hid it in the Altaussee salt mine, Austria, among many other looted masterpieces.
At the end of the war, it was finally returned to Saint Bavo's Cathedral, after being rescued by the Monuments Men.
In the Fall of 2012, a restoration campaign of the Altarpiece started, supported by the Flemish government and the Fund Baillet-Latour.
In the Fall of 2016, the restoration of the 8 panels of the closed altarpiece was finished. The Ghent Altarpiece had been through a fantastic transformation!
See here the scene of the Annunciation before renovation. And next the same panels, after treatment.
It took four years for a team of restorers to remove varnish and overpaint of the 8 panels, revealing the hidden beauty of the unique painterly qualities of Van Eyck, which had been hidden for centuries.
This overpaint covered nearly 70% of the surface. The treatment led to unique iconographic and aesthetic revelations.
On the left-end side, the renowned Sibyl of Erythrea sits alongside Micah.
For more information on the Altarpiece's renovation, as well as Infrared and X-radiographic imagery, visit the dedicated website by KIK-IRPA.
Exhibit curated by Lukas - Art in Flanders.