Ghent Altarpiece: unique images on-line

In 2010, Van Eyck's renowned Ghent Altarpiece was subjected to urgent conservation treatment within the Villa Chapel in St. Bavo Cathedral in Ghent. The altarpiece was temporarily dismantled for this intervention, which facilitated the making of new scientific imagary, funded by the Getty Foundation. This project generated a wealth of high-definition digital images that will be available on the internet. This will provide open access to this documentation for anyone wishing to study these paintings in microscopic detail, and to peek under the paint surfaces by means of infrared reflectography and X-radiogradiography.

The first part of this project is now on line. Twenty infrared assemblies are available in full resolution to study and download through a special preview website: Through innovative use of web technology, the user will be able for the first time to study the underdrawings of any two panels of the Ghent Altarpiece side-by-side.

The future, more comprehensive web site is a collaborative project between the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK/IRPA), Lukasweb, and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. It is funded through additional support from the Getty Foundation and with support from the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO). This site will be hosted by KIK/IRPA and is scheduled to be on line by January 1, 2012.


See the web site



Please contact the organizers directly should you have any questions or suggestions about this exciting project.


Ron Spronk (Queen's University/Radboud Universiteit; Project Coordination):

Bart Fransen (KIK/IRPA; Centre for the Study of the Flemish Primitives):

Timothy Naessen (Lukasweb):