In 2012 the restorers of the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA, Brussels) started treatment of the Ghent Altarpiece by the Van Eyck brothers. No one expected this restoration to turn into a revelation: the real Van Eyck proved to have been hidden underneath overpaint for centuries!
The temporary exhibition Restoration/REVELATION in the provincial cultural centre Caermersklooster in Ghent brings the tale of this spectacular intervention. An exploration journey through the old varnishes and overpaint… leading to the original work of Van Eyck.
Unique images from before, during and after restoration address all your questions: how did the restorers proceed? What scientific techniques did they use to confirm their observations or discover new elements? And – most of all – in what way did the overpaint transform the art work and what does it look like now?
The exhibition climaxes in a life-sized video projection of the outer wings where 4 years of restoration are condensed in a few minutes… The whole evolution of the paintings visualized: a progressive revelation.
Feel like a restorer, go on exploration and experience the outer wings of the Ghent Altarpiece as (n)ever before!