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OMG! Van Eyck was here
When you say Ghent, you think Ghent Altarpiece. After all, the two are inextricably linked. Ghent is the city where Van Eyck painted his world-famous masterpiece and where for the past six centuries, millions of visitors have gathered from all over the world to admire the altarpiece. In 2020, Ghent is celebrating Jan Van Eyck and the Ghent Altarpiece with a special festive year full of events and activities for everyone to enjoy. Van Eyck was here. And will be here to stay. Will you?
Van Eyck. An optical revolution
In 2020, the Museum of Fine Arts (MSK) Ghent is organizing the largest Jan van Eyck exhibition ever. Only about twenty works of this Flemish master have been preserved worldwide. At least half of them travel to our museum. They are brought together with work from Van Eyck’s studio and copies of paintings that have since disappeared. But also with more than 100 masterpieces from the late Middle Ages. No less than 13 museum rooms are being redesigned for this.
Visitors’ centre St Bavo's Cathedral
St Bavo's Cathedral, the home of the Ghent Altarpiece, is receiving a brand-new visitors’ centre where the restored panels of the altarpiece and various other authentic art treasures can be admired in all their glory. With the help of augmented reality, you will be able to travel deep into the past and live the turbulent history of the Ghent Altarpiece and the cathedral as if you were there yourself.
Children's exhibition 'Dear Jan, The Small Empire of Jan Van Eyck'
The exhibition 'Dag Jan' (in English: Hello Jan) enables children and their parents to fully immerse themselves in Jan Van Eyck's universe. Little Jan discovers that he is a direct descendant of the world-famous painter with the same name and goes on a voyage of discovery to find out who that distant relative actually was. Visitors unravel the mystery behind the Flemish painter through the eyes of curious little Jan. Display cases and cabinets, animations, interesting tidbits of information and an interactive trail immerse children in Van Eyck's small empire in a playful and educational way.
In 2020, the Ghent Floralies festival with its theme ‘My paradise, a worldly garden’ is all about quiet, calm, and the heavenly flowers and horticultural plants depicted in the Ghent Altarpiece. Floral masters will create an interpretation of the altarpiece, connecting art, Ghentish heritage, and mastery. Horticulturalists will in turn draw inspiration directly from the Ghent Altarpiece for their own creations. This promises to be a magnificent spectacle of scents and colours, giving the visitor the sense that they were dropped in the middle of Van Eyck’s paradise garden.
Kleureyck. Van Eyck’s colours in design
The Ghent Altarpiece is famous for its special and intense colours, which were fully uncovered again during the recent restoration. Jan Van Eyck used oil paint as well as layers of transparent coloured glaze to achieve an innovative mix of shades, clarity and saturation. His inspiring technique and colour use form the point of departure of an exhibition on innovative and diverse use of colours, linking the present and the past.
Lights on Van Eyck
In 2020, St Nicholas' Church is the ideal location for those who enjoy a unique blend of multimedia art, music and projection. A digital and musical reinterpretation of the Ghent Altarpiece composed by Mat Collishaw is sure to bring you pure wonderment for half an hour. Enter the church, behold a magical light show with projections on all walls and vaults, and engage in a digital arts experience. Regular live performances complete the picture.
Van Eyck in depth. Friction and harmony through the eyes of architects and artists
In March 2020, a new science museum will open its doors around the corner of MSK Gent and S.M.A.K. The Ghent University Museum, in short GUM, will allow you to take a look into the mind of a scientist. The new museum opens straight away with a pop-up exhibition on perspective and geometry in the oeuvre of Jan Van Eyck. The focus of the exhibition will be on his famous masterpiece Virgin and Child with Canon van der Paele. Is it true that Van Eyck did not know the laws of perspective in art, as is generally assumed? Why then does his oeuvre feel so right? A scientist and a group of architecture students try to answer these questions. The temporary exhibition confronts their scientific analysis with the artistic analysis of four contemporary artists. Like Van Eyck, they are looking for their own perspective. This results in a different kind of knowledge. Is it knowledge that leads to harmony? Or rather friction? Welcome to Jan Van Eyck's studio!
The conservation treatment of the Ghent Altarpiece
The first two phases of the conservation treatment of the Ghent Altarpiece by the Van Eyck brothers took place between October 2012 and December 2019. They were carried out at the request of the Churchwardens of St Bavo’s Cathedral by the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) at the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent (MSK).
Kris Martin | EXIT
‘EXIT’ is the first Belgian retrospective dedicated to the work of Kris Martin (b. 1972, Kortrijk, Belgium). The artist is nationally recognised for ‘Altar’, his sculpture on the beach of Ostend. After having shown his work internationally for twenty years, the Belgian public is finally being given the opportunity to get to know his eloquent oeuvre in more detail.