Apollo
Art Diary

Closer to Van Eyck

KIK-IRPA, Brussels

20 March 2020

While museums around the world are shuttered due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Apollo’s usual weekly pick of exhibition openings will be replaced by a selection of digital initiatives providing virtual access to art and culture.

While it’s no longer possible to visit the Van Eyck exhibition at MSK Ghent (although you can read Susie Nash’s review of it for Apollo here), the Flemish painter’s work can still be viewed online, more closely than ever before. A collaboration headed up by the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA, Brussels), the VERONA project (Van Eyck Research in OpeN Access) began as a way of documenting the lengthy and complex restoration of the Ghent Altarpiece, but has now grown to encompass more than 30 paintings by Van Eyck or his workshop, housed in museums worldwide. Very high-resolution macrophotography allows you to see the minutest details of brushwork and craquelure, giving an unprecedented insight into the technique of this early master of oil painting. There are also infrared photographs, while each panel of the Ghent Altarpiece is shown before, during, and after restoration. The Closer to Van Eyck website, hosted by KIK-IRPA, is available here.

Preview the project below | View Apollo’s Art Diary here

Ghent Altarpiece (exterior; 1432), Jan van Eyck.

Ghent Altarpiece (exterior; 1432), Jan van Eyck. Photo: Dominique Provost; © www.lukasweb.be – Art in Flanders vzw

Portrait of a Man with Blue Chaperon (c. 1428–30), Jan van Eyck.

Portrait of a Man with Blue Chaperon (c. 1428–30), Jan van Eyck. Muzeul National Brukenthal, Sibiu

Screenshot from the 'Closer to Van Eyck' website showing the Archangel Annunciate from the Ghent Altarpiece before, during and after restoration

Screenshot from the ‘Closer to Van Eyck’ website showing the Archangel Annunciate from the Ghent Altarpiece before, during and after restoration

Screenshot from the 'Closer to Van Eyck' website showing the location of all Van Eyck paintings included in the project

Screenshot from the ‘Closer to Van Eyck’ website showing the location of all Van Eyck paintings included in the project