[imagesource: DeAgostini/Getty Images]
Just when we thought Cats was the worst animal/ human crossover to ever assault your eyes and haunt your dreams, they restored the ‘Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’ on the Ghent Altarpiece, originally completed by Hubert and Jan Van Eyck in 1432.
While this isn’t as bad as that time an 80-year-old Italian lady turned Christ into a meme after she “restored” ‘The Fresco’ by Elías García Martínez, it’s still pretty disturbing.
The Ghent Altarpiece is housed at St Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium, and depicts a sacrifice to God, with a few sad-looking angels present, and is widely regarded as the first major oil painting to gain global fame.
A €2,2 million (roughly R35 million) restoration on the piece has been ongoing since 2012. During recent efforts by conservationists to spruce up the middle panel of the work, they discovered that someone else painted over the lamb on the altar in the 16th century.
Instead of questioning why this might have happened, they went ahead and stripped away the overpaint, reports the BBC, to reveal the lamb’s “intense gaze” and “large frontal eyes”.
Let’s get in closer with a before and after comparison:
It’s either flirting or looking directly into your soul. Either way, I’m vegan now.
Hélène Dubois, the head of the restoration project, told the Art Newspaper the original lamb had a more “intense interaction with the onlookers”.
She said the lamb’s “cartoonish” depiction, which departs from the painting’s naturalistic style, required more research.
Yes, I think we’d all like to know why this happened.
The lamb has been described as having an “alarmingly humanoid face” with “penetrating, close-set eyes, full pink lips and flared nostrils” by the Smithsonian Magazine.
These features are “eye-catching, if not alarmingly anthropomorphic”, said the magazine, the official journal of the Smithsonian Institution.
On social media, people are generally not impressed with the lamb, with some describing it as “disturbing”. This tweet sums it all up:
And this one from someone who overcame the shock and used their words:
Did I leave the fridge door open?
Belgium’s Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (RICH), which led the restoration, is defending its decision to remove the overpaint.
In a statement to the BBC, the institute defended the restoration campaign, saying “several posts on social media reflect a misunderstanding of the results”.
The Van Eyck brothers chose to “represent the Lamb of God with human-like staring eyes”, which was a common style in the Middle Ages, it said.
Sure, but someone in the 16th century, who was clearly tired of staring down the creepy sheep, went through a lot of trouble to carefully paint it into a less threatening animal. Shem.
The panel is on its way back to the Cathedral tomorrow, so if you’re in the area, go and check it out.
It looks like the pouting, humanoid lamb is here to stay.
Sadly, videos of on-duty cops under the influence of alcohol are commonplace in South Afri...
[imagesource:here] If you thought we had experienced everything ‘unprecedented’ tha...
[imagesource: Mr South Africa] When the top 10 Mr South Africa contestants were announc...
Like billions of others around the world, Bryn North spent a large part of this year confi...
[imagesource:here] The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has announced that from Januar...