Sunday, June 11, 2017


The "Lam Gods", in the Anglosaxon world better known as the Ghent Altarpiece or the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, is a large, late Medieval Flemish polyptych altarpiece in Ghent's Sint-Baafskathedraal (St Bavo's Cathedral), attributed to the Old Flemish masters Hubert and Jan van Eyck.

The polyptych's general design is thought to be Hubert's work and can be situated in the early to mid 1420s, after which the panels would have been painted by his younger brother Jan between 1430 and 1432. The altarpiece was commissioned by the mayor of Ghent, Jodocus Vijd, and his wife Lysbette. The altarpiece was officially inaugurated on 6 May 1432, and after some time moved to the cathedral's principal chapel, where it can still be admired.

Despite having been in very serious danger throughout the centuries (iconoclasm, fire, looting, panels stolen by the Germans during WWI) by the thirties the Ghent Altarpiece could have been said to have survived pretty well. But then, in 1934, the panel visible in the left hand corner, depicting "The Just Judges", was stole, presumably by a certain Arsène Goedertier. He died the very same year and is known to have tried to tell, with his last breath, the location of the stolen panel, but the clues he left were of no avail.

After WWII, Belgian art restorer Jef Van der Veken produced a copy, as part of an overall restoration project. To this day, the real "The Just Judges" remain unaccounted for, although presumably the work is still in Ghent and in the possession of an old aristocratic family.

 photo lamgods_zpsrwikdvwp.jpg

Certainly do not miss to visit this site, Closer to Van Eyck, which allows you to explore this monumental work in the minutest detail.


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