Experts argue about the results completed in late 2019 the restoration of the Ghent altarpiece
ARTinvestment.RU   23 января 2020

Ambiguous reaction was caused by the figure of the lamb of God, the gaze and the head of which has been renovated according to expressive, almost anthropomorphic traits

the Restoration of one of the greatest masterpieces of the Northern Renaissance and first known paintings of this scale, done in oil, was almost seven years — October 2012-го to December 2019-го, worth more than €2 million and suddenly has puzzled experts. Issues caused, in particular, the image of the sacrificial lamb, symbolizing Christ, in the Central part of the lower tier middle panel of the altar.

During the cleaning operation from the latest records, the restorers discovered that the Central panel of the altarpiece known as the Adoration of the Mystic lamb was painted over in the sixteenth century. The newly discovered and restored by the image surprised themselves restorers and continues to be a strong enough reaction in the media and social networks.

So, the magazine of the Smithsonian Institute describes the features of the lamb as "eye-catching, if not frighteningly anthropomorphic".

In social networks and some Newspapers, and all popular view that it would be better not to restore the original appearance of the lamb. The restored appearance of the lamb even compare with the well-known examples of bad restoration, like, a community the restoration of the fresco Ecce Homo.

Koenraad Jonker, Professor of art, Renaissance and Baroque architecture at Ghent University, even suggested that the record of the XVI century could be made specifically to convert the "intense and humanized features of lamb in a more neutral animalistic image."

Commenting on the situation for the BBC, a representative of the Belgian Royal Institute for cultural heritage (RICH), who carried out the restoration, said that "the publication in social networks reflect an incorrect understanding of the results of the restoration."

the Brothers van Eiki deliberately decided "to represent the lamb of God, looking at the viewer with the human eye". It was common practice in the Middle ages.

"the Decision to remove the later paint layer was carefully considered and fully supported by all participants in the process, — said the Institute. —Результаты restoration has received a high estimation of experts, the public and the Cathedral of St. Bavo".

on 24 January, the results of restoration will be available for consideration by the wider public: the altar will return to the place of their permanent stay in the walls of Saint Bavo Cathedral in Ghent. But he will stay there for long: from the 1st of February (and until 30 April 2020) fold the Ghent altarpiece — as well as a dozen works by van Eyck (i.e. half of its remaining creative heritage) and hundreds of works in his circle, Studio and era (the late middle Ages) — can be seen in the Museum of fine arts Ghent (Museum of Fine Arts (MSK), Ghent) on one of the main exhibitions this year "van Eyck. Optical revolution".


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