Publications: The Ghent Altarpiece.

The Ghent Altarpiece. Research and Conservation of the Exterior
Sous la direction de Bart Fransen and Cyriel Stroo

 Avec les contributions de A.-S. Augustyniak, Chr. Ceulemans, A. Coudray, D. Deneffe, L. Depuydt, B. Devolder, H. Dubois, B. Fransen, A. Genbrugge, J.-A. Glatigny, K. Janssens, S. Jones, J. Ketels, L. Mortiaux, N. Laquière, M. Martens, Cl. Mehagnoul, M. Postec, J. Reyniers, Fr. Rosier, J. Sanyova, M. H. Smith, R. Spronk, Gr. Steyaert, C. Stroo, P. Vandenabeele, G. Vandersnickt, A. van Grevenstein-Kruse (see the table of contents infra).

En anglais
Institut du Patrimoine artistique, Bruxelles, 2020
Contributions à l’étude des Primitifs flamands 14
430 p.
ISBN : 978-2-930054-38-4
Prix : 70 €*

The outer panels of the Ghent Altarpiece had been overpainted to a considerable extent. The virtuosity of the Eyckian technique and aesthetics remained hardly visible. And yet, this had never been observed before the start of the conservation treatment.By removing the overpaint, the tonal richness and the coherent rendering of light and space once again came to the fore. Especially the suggestion of volumes and the spaciousness of the ensemble gained strength because of the virtuoso play of deep shadows and bright light accents, and not in the least because of the surprising trompe-l’oeil effect of the frames conceived as a stone framework.Or to put it in the words of the comments of one of the experts, dr. Maryan Ainsworth:  The paintings live and breathe again in the time of the Van Eyck brothers. The sharp observation skills, the quick, accurate execution, the knowledge, curiosity and ingenuity about all the things that are depicted, are now unveiled after centuries. The profit for the knowledge of and further research into the essence of Eyckian aesthetics is considerable. And finally there is the discovery that the much-discussed quatrain was applied simultaneously with the polychromy of the frames: a real ‘coup de foudre’ in the discourse of the current art-historical research!

The subtleties of the Eyckian technique could also be mapped out in more detail. How the Van Eycks managed to keep the final result and the desired effect in mind during every phase of the execution, from imprimatura to finishing touch. The artists made a statement about the art of painting, giving ‘technique’ as such a new prominence. The  Ghent Altarpiece may be understood at some point as a major showpiece for a highly sophisticated pictorial technique.

 We hope that this publication of the results of the restoration campaign can help future researchers to ask better questions. Questions, and answers, that may produce a more balanced picture of Van Eyck’s techniques, methods and materials.

Retrouvez aussi en ligne la bibliographie de l’Agneau mystique, un formidable outil pour toutes les personnes qui effectuent des recherches sur l’Agneau mystique.

téléchargeable gratuitement:

En anglais
Contributions à l’étude des Primitifs flamands 15
98 p.
ISBN : 978-2-930054-39-1

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Table of Contents

Ludo Collin


Hilde De Clercq, Christina CeulemansIntroduction

Maximiliaan Martens, Christina Ceulemans, Ron Spronk, Anne van Grevenstein-KruseTransformations in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
Hélène Dubois

Frames and Support: Technique and Structural Treatment

Jochen Ketels, Jean-Albert Glatigny, Anne-Sophie AugustyniakPaint and Polychromy: Chemical Investigation of the Overpaints

Jana Sanyova, Geert Van der Snickt, H Koen Janssens, Peter VandenabeeleConservation and Restoration Treatment

The Painted Surface

Livia Depuydt-Elbaum, FranThe Frames: In Search of Lost Unity

Anne-Sophie Augustyniak, Laure MortiauxThe Van Eycks’ Creative Process

The Paintings: from (Under)drawing to the Final Touch in Paint

Marie Postec, Griet SteyaertThe Frames: an Exceptional Polychromy

Anne-Sophie Augustyniak, Laure Mortiaux, Jana SanyovaThe Authenticity of the Quatrain and the other Frame Inscriptions

Susan Frances Jones, Anne-Sophie Augustyniak, Hélène DuboisImagining the Original Display

Bart Fransen, Jean-Albert GlatignyRestoring in the Public Eye

Bart DevolderEpilogue: Implications and Perspectives

Cyriel Stroo, Maximiliaan Martens 


Photography before and after Treatment

Stéphane Bazzo, Jean-Luc Elias, Katrien Van AckerInscriptions on the Exterior

Susan Frances Jones, Marc H. SmithThe Quatrain: a New Reconstruction

Marc H. Smith, Susan Frances Jones, Anne-Sophie AugustyniakDimensions of Frames and Supports

Jochen Ketels, Jean-Albert Glatigny, Anne-Sophie AugustyniakThe Ghent Altarpiece: a Bibliography

Dominique Deneffe, Jeroen ReyniersBibliography
Project Participants
Photographic Acknowledgements
Index of Names
Index of Works of Art

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