Monday, December 06, 2010

Ghent and the Mysterious Polyptich


Saint-Bavo Cathedral in Ghent… where is kept the mysterious and coveted "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" by Van Eyck.
The cathedral of Saint-Bavo in Ghent is an important edifice of the “Gothique Brabançon”, the Gothic Style of the Belgian Region of Brabant. It was erected in the XIIIth century and completed during the following centuries.
The 3 naves, choir, transept and chapels date back to 1550. The choir is in blue stone of Tournai and houses the tombs of several bishops in the crypt as well as many masterpieces like the statues of Saint-Peter and Saint-Paul by Karel Van Poucke. The vault was achieved in 1628. Inside, the opulent décor of the aisles belongs to the Renaissance. The tower of the façade is 89 m high and dates from 1462-1534. It has  large sober porch, four storeys, the first one presenting a large Gothic window. The so-called lower church (transept and three naves) is in bricks and white stone (1533-1559) which is quite rare and unexpected. The cathedral was completed in 1569.
The famous Ghent altarpiece “the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” painted by Hubert Van Eyck and completed by his brother Jan in 1432 is displayed in the cathedral. It is one of the most valuable masterpieces of the Early Renaissance and a World’s Treasure.  

The panel called “The Just judges” was stolen in 1934 and never found since then. A copy was produced in 1945. Albert Camus described the facts in “La Chute”.  
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Read also:

A Mystery of the Mystic Lamb: the Nazi Plot

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