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Restoration/REVELATION: The Exterior Wings of the Ghent Altarpiece

Bart Devolder, painting conservator and onsite coordinator, Ghent Altarpiece restoration team, Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA). The Ghent Altarpiece (1432) by Jan and Hubert van Eyck is one of the most iconic works of Western art as it embodies the birth of new skills and vision. Still housed in Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium, the site for which it was created, The Ghent Altarpiece (or Mystic Lamb as it is sometimes referred to) has undergone conservation and restoration treatment overseen by the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA, Brussels) since 2012. No one expected this restoration to turn into a revelation: the real Van Eyck had been hidden beneath overpaint for centuries! In this lecture recorded on June 2, 2017, at the National Gallery of Art, Bart Devolder shares remarkable discoveries from the first phase of treatment, and previews findings from the ongoing second phase. This program is made possible by the Henry and Alice H. Greenwald Endowment Fund for Conservation.

Released: June 20, 2017