The Van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece in 100 Billion Pixels

Altarpiece with wings closed

A good many of us may never see the Ghent Altarpiece in its entire magnificent splendor. The 15th century piece painted by Hubert and Jan Van Eyck, Mystic Lamb better known as the Ghent Altarpiece now has its own website. We can now see the altar in 100 billion pixels at its new website, Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece. The 15th. century piece is considered to be one of the world’s art masterpieces. It consists of 24 framed panels that can be changed by moving the hinged outer wings.

The stunning altarpiece presents the story of Christianity focusing on the redemption. The interior focuses on the redemption with the upper side panels show the original sin of Adam and Eve. The lower panel shows the apostles and martyrs who gather around the Sacred Lamb which is a symbol of Chris the Redeemer.  

As part of conservation efforts since last year, the work has been meticulously photographed centimeter by centimeter. It is photographed in such high resolution that the viewer can observe tiny trees and other details not able to by seen with just the eyes.

The project was funded by the Getty Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Museum. The grant was initiated to train a new generation of experts in art conservation. There are only a few experts in the world who are experienced enough to take on such a project such as the altarpiece. 
You can read more at, To Save a Masterpiece: The Ghent Altarpiece, about Queen’s University art historian Dr. Ron Spronk who is the co-leader of the international team to save this great work of art.
Click on book covers to see read more about the Van Eyck’s and The Ghent Altarpiece.

Jan van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece is on any art historian’s list of the ten most important paintings ever made. Often referred to by the subject of its central panel, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, it represents the fulcrum between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It is also the most frequently stolen artwork of all time.Since its completion in 1432, this twelve-panel oil painting has been looted in three different wars, burned, dismembered, forged, smuggled, illegally sold, censored, hidden, attacked by iconoclasts, hunted by the Nazis and Napoleon, used as a diplomatic tool, ransomed, rescued by Austrian double-agents, and stolen a total of thirteen times.In this fast-paced, real-life thriller, art historian Noah Charney unravels the stories of each of these thefts. In the process, he illuminates the whole fascinating history of art crime, and the psychological, ideological, religious, political, and social motivations that have led many men to covet this one masterpiece above all others.
Discover the secret symbols and meaning behind 62 featured paintings in this unique volume. Ranging from Giotto’s 14th-century painting of the Last Judgment to the 19th-century symbolist Gustave Moreau’s depiction of Jupiter and Semele, each work has been selected for its own symbolic enigma. This book’s innovative design pairs each painting with a page of die-cut windows that help the reader focus on specific aspects of each painting and features captions that highlight the most important symbols. Other works in this unique and fascinating book include Renaissance masterpieces such as Botticelli’s Primavera and The Birth of Venus, Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, and Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment.

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