Lust for Art - Perspectives No. 395
Lust for Art
The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, or Ghent Altarpiece by Jan and Hubert van Eyck
The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, or Ghent Altarpiece, holds the title for being the subject of the most crimes of any artwork in history. In its nearly 600-year existence, it has been stolen repeatedly and nearly destroyed by fires more than once. The 12-paneled altarpiece was created by Jan van Eyck with help from his brother, Hubert, and revealed to the public for the first time in 1432. It weighed almost two tons and measured approximately 14.5 feet by 11.5 feet. It was unlike any artwork ever seen with brilliant color and great artistic detail portraying biblical events and figures, from Adam and Eve, the Archangel Gabriel, the Annunciation, to the symbolic sacrifice of Christ (the sacred lamb). It became the object of pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Saint Bavo in the city of Ghent, Belgium. It is considered, to this day, one of the most important artworks in history.
Today the Ghent Altarpiece is mostly on display again in Ghent. One panel (the lower left) stolen in 1934, has never been recovered, although the investigation into its robbery remains an active case in the Ghent police department. Additional art detectives have spent decades probing the theft, including one sent by Joseph Goebbels hunting the missing panel for a gift to Hitler. The cathedral itself has been searched six times and its floor x-rayed to 32 feet deep. The original framework holding the panel has not been a part of the altarpiece since the Calvinist riots, but is presumed to have been ornately carved.
Become an Artist's Road Member Today!
Click here to become a Member and enjoy access to all the in-depth painting and travel articles, videos and tutorials. Guaranteed!
Already a Member?
Log in here. To renew your membership, log in and follow the links.
Search the Site
Not ready to become a Member yet? Subscribe to our free email postcards, "Perspectives". Enter your email address here.
The Artist's Road Store
Filled with inspirational examples by the masters of nightime painting, this little book is sure to fire up your creative energies. Never tried painting at night? We show you how it's done with a step-by-step-oil demo and a tale of night painting in the wilds of Rocky Mountain National Park. The Primer on Night Painting - Nocturnes is a 7 x 7" PDF download with 40 pages of text and images. It includes a gallery of paintings by masters of the nocturne, information to inspire and encourage you in your plein air nocturne painting, an illustrated step-by-step demo and tips for working in pastel and oil. Also available in a softcover edition. Check out the tools and other products that we use in our own art and travels in The Artist's Road Store. We only offer things for sale that we enthusiastically believe in.
New Member Content
The Perspectives Archive