A close and personal view of the great work by Hubert and Jan van Eyck is now available thanks to an enhanced web app
The highly complex, 12-panel oil painting in St. Bavo’s Cathedral, tells the story of Christianity from the Annunciation to the Crucifixion.
One can still battle the crowds and stand in front of the 15th-century Ghent altarpiece in Belgium to explore the iconography of Catholicism in this one work of art, but now — thanks to The Closer to Van Eyck web application, first launched in 2012 — it is possible to zoom in and observe the intricate details of the painting from the comfort of one’s home. The app has recently been enhanced to allow an even closer look of the great work.
Having undergone major conservation work under the collaboration of Belgium’s Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage and the Getty Foundation in Los Angeles, the altarpiece can now be viewed by the public as closely as it was viewed during the conservation process.
Visitors to the app’s website can zoom in for microscopic views in 100 billion pixels, and they can look at the painting all different stages of the conservation process, under infrared light and x-ray views.