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Van Eyck: an Optical Revolution

One of Flanders’ best known medieval works of art is without a doubt The Adoration of The Mystic Lamb (also known as the Ghent Altarpiece), the masterwork by the brothers van Eyck and one of Ghent’s main points of interest.
Not bad for an incomplete work: in the early twentieth century one of the panels, the Just Judges, was stolen from Sint-Baafs Cathedral; The crime remains unsolved to this day and the panel is still missing. In recent years the painting also had to make do without its outer panels: between 2012 and 2016 these were being restored at Ghent’s Museum for Fine Arts. Since then they have returned to their original location in the cathedral.


In 2020 the restored outer panels will return for a short time to the Museum of Fine Arts. For the first time they will be reunited with others works by painter Jan van Eyck for a unique expo: Van Eyck, An Optical Illusion. Of Jan van Eyck, the youngest and most important of the van Eyck brothers, only some twenty works still exist throughout the world. Half of them will travel to Ghent for the 2020 exhibition.
The exhibition will also showcase works by van Eyck’s most talented contemporaries from Germany, France, Italy and Spain, to underline the technical revolution of van Eyck’s craft. Jan van Eyck used his scientific knowledge, coupled with refined technique and sharp observation to portray reality in his paintings in a more tactile way than ever before. His paintings show us worlds where you could almost step inside and portraits that seems to come alive.


The exhibitions runs from February 1 to April 30 2020, all week round, each time from 9h30 till 19h. Once a week the expo remains open till 23h. The exhibition is open to both individual visitors and groups, and to give everyone a chance it is organized in time slots: you reserve your tickets for specific dates and times. There is however no time limitation on your visit except for the regular closing times. Audio guides in different languages are included with the visit. You can also book a guide beforehand. So don’t miss this unique exhibition and reserve your tickets at https://vaneyck2020.be/en/


And the celebration of this great Flemish master doesn’t end there. Under the name OMG! Van Eyck was here Ghent celebrates its most famous painter for an entire year in 2020, with thematically selected fine arts, theater, dance, design, fashion, music, gastronomy and even shopping! Later in 2020 a new visitors’ center will be opened in the Sint-Baafs Cathedral, where the history of the Altarpiece will be illuminated through a combination of art treasures and modern presentation techniques.

Feel like you’ve painted yourself in a corner at the end of the day? Only a ten minute walk from the Museum of Fine Arts you can relax at our Hotel Astoria, a place pretty enough to be framed!