The Van Eyck year opens in Ghent


The city of Ghent is celebrating the artist Jan Van Eyck throughout 2020. A series of events will mark the 15th-century painter's association with the city, the climax of which is the finalised restoration of the "Ghent Altarpiece".

The official Van Eyck celebration focuses on the restoration of the iconic "Ghent Altarpiece" (or the "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb") which began in 2012. This internationally recognised masterpiece is one of the world's most influential works. In total, the 18 panels of the altarpiece depict magical scenes from the Bible.

The work was started by Hubert Van Eyck. However, on his death, his younger brother Jan Van Eyck, a true painting prodigy, finished it brilliantly after a few years in 1432.

In addition to the altarpiece which is finally on show at Saint Bavo's Cathedral, around thirty other projects have been selected. As Sami Souguir, Alderman for Culture, explains "the Van Eyck year will bring together organisations and associations from the city and suburbs, making the themed year a project for all Ghent residents." In particular, there will be several exhibitions combining Van Eyck and modern artists, calligraphers and designers and events designed to introduce Van Eyck's world to children.