Europe

Ghent altarpiece: Masterpiece goes online

Updated 1858 GMT (0258 HKT) March 1, 2012
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Thought to be one of the most famous panel paintings in the world, the Ghent Altarpiece, completed in 1432, can now be viewed on a specially-designed, open source website. Cathedrale de Saint Bavon
Stolen several times from St. Bavo Cathedral in Ghent where it is housed, the altarpiece features many intriguing details, including a 'Mystic Lamb' bleeding into a chalice. Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece
Consisting of 12 panels and depicting numerous complex theological scenes, the documentation project has rendered the work into 100 billion pixels using the highest resolution photography. Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece
Here the Virgin Enthroned is seen in digital infrared reflectograms, which look past the painted surface of the picture and reveal the under-drawings beneath. Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece
The same panel of the Virgin Enthroned seen with digital infrared macrophotographs. One major question scholars are hoping to answer is how involved Hubert van Eyck, older brother of Jan van Eyck, was in the painting of the work. Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece
Digitized X-radiographs of the Virgin Enthroned panel. These images allow the viewer to see the skeleton of the picture, revealing the evolving nature of the composition over time. Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece
A detail from the Angel Musicians, in digital macrophotographs on the left and in digital infrared reflectograms on the right. Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece
A detail from the famed Adoration of the Lamb. Viewed with digital macrophotographs on the left and an assembly of digital infrared reflectograms on the right. Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece