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October 01, 2012

Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece


Expert Ron Spronk Talks about the Ghent Altarpiece

At the Getty Center
Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.

       

MEDIA CONTACT: 
                

Melissa Abraham
Getty Communications
(310) 440-6861
mabraham@getty.edu  


The Ghent Altarpiece (Open), completed 1432. Hubert and Jan van Eyck. Saint Bavo Cathedral 
© Lukas -Art in Flanders vzw 



LOS ANGELES—This year it became possible to zoom into the intricate, breathtaking details of one of the most important works of art in the world, thanks to a newly completed website focused on the Ghent Altarpiece and funded by the Getty FoundationRon Spronk, the professor of art history at Queen's University in Canada who led the incredible project will describe the documentation campaign and demonstrate the use of the website as an educational and research tool at the Getty Center at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 4, 2012, in the Museum Lecture Hall.

A stunning and highly complex painting composed of separate oak panels, The Mystic Lamb of 1432 by Hubert and Jan van Eyck, known as the Ghent Altarpiece, underwent much-needed emergency conservation within the Villa Chapel in St. Bavo Cathedral in Ghent. As part of this work, the altarpiece was removed from its glass enclosure and temporarily dismantled—a rare event which also made it possible to undertake a comprehensive examination and documentation, supported by the Getty Foundation in Los Angeles.

The 20 individual panels that make up the Mystic Lamb were documented with state-of-the-art equipment using extremely high resolution.

The result is a dedicated website (
http://closertovaneyck.kikirpa.be) that allows viewers unparalleled access to Van Eyck's world in breathtaking detail.

In addition, X-ray and infrared images on the website enable viewers to virtually peek under the surface and follow Van Eyck's hand from earlier underdrawing to the final painted version we see today.

In his lecture, Ron Spronk, who directed documentation of the altarpiece and the creation of the website, introduces the
Ghent Altarpiece and its state of conservation.

Admission is Free. Reservations are recommended. Call (310) 440-7300 or visit 
ww.getty.edu/museum/programs/lectures/spronk_lecture.html.


About Ron Spronk

Ron Spronk is a professor of art history at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and Hieronymous Bosch Chair at Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Ron Spronk is a specialist in the technical examination of paintings. From 1994 to 2007 he worked in different capacities at the Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, Massachusetts, most recently as Research Curator. He has published widely on the technical examination of paintings and he co-curated award-winning exhibitions on Mondrian’s Transatlantic Paintings and on Early Netherlandish diptychs. In 2010, he coordinated the technical documentation of the Ghent Altarpiece and he is currently a member of the team that is studying the oeuvre of Hieronymus Bosch. He also teaches part-time at Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

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The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations:  the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

Visiting the Getty Center

The Getty Center is open Tuesday through Friday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed Monday and major holidays. Admission to the Getty Center is always free. Parking is $15 per car, but reduced to $10 after 5 p.m. on Saturdays and for evening events throughout the week. No reservation is required for parking or general admission. Reservations are required for event seating and groups of 15 or more. Please call (310) 440-7300 (English or Spanish) for reservations and information. The TTY line for callers who are deaf or hearing impaired is (310) 440-7305. The Getty Center is at 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California.

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