Medieval and magical, vibrant and edgy – the Belgian city is a sensory overload
Plundered, dismantled and stolen, it’s a miracle that the Ghent Altarpiece – also known as the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb – by brothers Hubert and Jan Van Eyck, has survived. Now a forensic, seven-year restoration of the 15th-century polyptych has revealed the brilliance of its original palette and details – tendrils of angelic hair, the gleam of a copper fountain – darkened over time. To celebrate, curators at Ghent’s Museum of Fine Arts have gathered 13 of Jan Van Eyck’s 23 surviving paintings (none of Hubert’s works remain) for an exhibition that will include 10 panels from the altarpiece alongside sculptures and illuminated manuscripts by contemporaries. Elsewhere in Ghent, Eyckian-themed events will explore the work of an artist renowned for his mastery of light and detail.