The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Monday, November 24, 2014


Unprecedented imaging project supported by the Getty reveals master work in minute detail-online
The Ghent Altarpiece, 1432.
LOS ANGELES, CA.- It is now 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.

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, recently 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.

Each centimeter of the altarpiece was scrutinized and professionally photographed at extremely high resolution in both regular and infrared light. The photographs were then digitally “stitched” together to create highly detailed images which allow for study of the painting at unprecedented microscopic levels. The website itself contains 100 billion pixels.

Thanks to a grant from the Getty Foundation, these high-definition digital images are now available on an interactive digital website, “Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece” at http://closertovaneyck.kikirpa.be where, for the first time in the Ghent Altarpiece’s history, viewers may peek under the work’s paint surfaces by means of infrared reflectography (IRR) and x-radiography to study the van Eycks’ genius in unparalleled microscopic magnification. Taken together, this body of documentation represents an invaluable archive for scholars, conservators, and art lovers worldwide.

“This imaging project provides an amazing level of access to the wondrous painting of the Ghent Altarpiece,” said Deborah Marrow, director of the Getty Foundation. “It has been a privilege to work with such a distinguished team of international colleagues on this important project.”

Led by Ron Spronk, a Professor of Art History at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and at Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, the website is a collaborative project of the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK/IRPA), Lukasweb, and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and is funded through support from the Getty Foundation and with support from the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, or NWO).

“The images on the website will aid art historians studying the Ghent Altarpiece and Hubert and Jan van Eyck for many years to come,” said Spronk. “The site gives scholars access to research materials of a unique and unprecedented quality, both on and below the paint surface of the polyptych. We deliberately chose an open-source approach to the images, with the hope that it will spur more projects using interactive, high-resolution imaging techniques for the technical study of works of art.”

The website features overall photographs of the polyptych in its opened and closed positions, and from there users can zoom closer into the details of individual panels of the altarpiece, down to a microscopic level. Scrolling and zooming features are guided by a thumbnail image to indicate the location and size of the detail on the altarpiece. Users are also able to open two windows simultaneously to compare any two images from the site, enabling viewers to interactively study the Ghent Altarpiece and the artists’ techniques in ways that have never before been possible.

Belgium's internationally recognized federal scientific institution KIK/IRPA, with core activities in the fields of technical documentation, conservation and restoration, scientific research, and archiving, will host the website on its high-capacity servers.

“After L'Agneau Mystique au Laboratoire, the first important publication about the historical and technical research on the Ghent Altarpiece by our founding director Dr. Paul Coremans in 1953, this website is the next logical step in the dissemination of scientific information about the polyptych,” KIK/IRPA’s Interim Director Christina Ceulemans said. “It will also be an ideal instrument for the restorers during the comprehensive conservation/restoration campaign which will start in September 2012.”

The new website marks the culmination of several Foundation grants supporting conservation planning, examination and training related to the Ghent Altarpiece as part of the Getty’s Panel Paintings Initiative. Paintings on wood panel from the late 12th through the 17th centuries are among the most significant works in American, European, and Russian museum collections, yet there are only a handful of experts fully qualified to conserve these paintings. The Getty Foundation, Getty Conservation Institute, and J. Paul Getty Museum together designed the Panel Paintings Initiative to ensure that the next generation of conservators is trained before the current experts retire.

The Ghent Altarpiece documentation and website grants bring the total amount awarded by the Getty Foundation since 2008 through the Panel Paintings Initiative to more than $2.5 million. The initiative started with a needs assessment survey of significant collections of panel paintings and of professionals in the field, which the Foundation has used as a road map to develop training residencies. Recent projects in partnership with organizations such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Prado Museum, the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, the University of Cambridge’s Hamilton Kerr Institute, and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts Belgium have created training opportunities through the treatment of highly significant panel paintings, including a upcoming three-year Getty-funded training program at the Prado.





Today's News

February 26, 2012

Exhibition in Bonn features the journeys August Macke undertook during his brief life

Exhibition of the largest single collection of 13th century Mongolian artifacts opens at the Field Museum

MoMA presents exhibition covering Cindy Sherman's career, from the 1970s to the present

Unprecedented imaging project supported by the Getty reveals master work in minute detail-online

The Ashmolean Museum campaigns to save a masterpiece by Edouard Manet for the nation

New York City's Hispanic Society of America, which holds a world-class collection, seeks to make itself known

LACMA to begin transport of boulder for major artwork, Levitated Mass, by artist Michael Heizer

Designers Miuccia Prada, Elsa Schiaparelli in new Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit

On the 210th anniversary of Victor Hugo's birth, Christie's announces the sale of the Hugo Collection

Phillips de Pury & Co. announces highlights from its New York photographs single owner sale

Florida museum auctions off antique cars, carousel, bringing in $38.3 million in sales

Baryshnikov shows his dance photography at the Gary Nader Art Centre in Miami

Bonhams to sell pistols of aide-de-camp to King George III, a veteran of American War of Independence

Poland, US museum tussle over Auschwitz barracks

Claim surfaces of Anne Frank baptism by Mormons

Andrea Galvani's first solo exhibition with Meulensteen opens in New York

"Painting Air: Spencer Finch" opens at the Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design

Time is out of joint: Photography 1966-2011 by Boris Mikhailov on view at Berlinische Galerie

Academy unhappy but helpless to stop Oscar auction

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Greece holds breath as skeleton found in Alexander the Great-era tomb at Amphipolis

2.- Spain mourns the death of art collector Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, Duchess of Alba

3.- Meet the ancestors: Exhibition at Bordeaux gallery reveals faces of prehistoric humans

4.- Getty Foundation and partners launch free of charge online art collection catalogues

5.- Historic photos of dead Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara resurface in small Spanish town

6.- Exhibition showcases the first two 'Poesie' created by Titian following their restoration

7.- O'Keeffe painting sells for more than three times the previous world auction record for any female artist

8.- Crystal Bridges announces the departure of museum President Don Bacigalupi

9.- artnet Auctions offers a later example of Yayoi Kusama's important Infinity-Nets series

10.- 'Degenerate art' should go back to museums: German advisor Jutta Limbach



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site