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  • Writer's pictureTammy Lowe

Interesting Fact of the Day...

Here’s your useless, (but fascinating) fact of the day, even if (like me) you don’t know a thing about art!

The Ghent Altarpiece


The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb

Completed in 1432, this is the most important painting in our history—The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. It’s the first oil painting and the first great panel painting of the Renaissance. It also happens to be the most stolen piece of artwork of all time. Check out its fascinating history:

”Just about everything bad that could happen to a painting has happened to...Jan van Eyck’s Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (also known as the Ghent Altarpiece). It’s almost been destroyed in a fire, was nearly burned by rioting Calvinists, it’s been forged, pillaged, dismembered, censored, stolen by Napoleon, hunted in the first world war, sold by a renegade cleric, then stolen repeatedly during the second world war, before being rescued by The Monuments Men, miners and a team of commando double-agents. The fact that it was the artwork the Nazis were most desperate to steal – Göring wanted it for his private collection, Hitler as the centrepiece of his citywide super-museum – has only increased its renown.”

To this day, the panel on the bottom left is still missing. A few summers ago, treasure hunters decided it could be buried under one of the town squares in Ghent. So, authorities had to turn away people with pick axes showing up to dig up the town square.

I have seen it twice and it is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful in real life.

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