The NY Times has featured an article (in the Science section, no less) chronicaling the restoration of the Van Eyck brother's famous Early Renaissance piece, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, also know as the Ghent Altarpiece after its longtime home in the Ghent cathedral of St. Bavos.
Using a cutting-edge technique called "macro-X-ray fluorescence analysis" conservationists were able to determine that below the many layers of varnish and overpainting lay the original Van Eyck brushstrokes. It actually convinced the restorers, who were originally only going to clean the surface, to instead strip away the top layers of paint and varnish from one of the world's most famous paintings and reveal the original painting. "The result was 'without a trace of hyperbole, a triumph: awe inspiring and transformative,' said Michael Gallagher, a member of the international committee of experts and chief conservator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York."
Read more about the incredible process in the New York Times article here!
About the VR Coordinator
Jacqui Hopely Monkell has been the Visual Resources Coordinator at Queens College since 2015. She maintains this website while juggling her other VR responsibilities. If you find something art history related that she might find interesting, drop her a line!