Painting in Focus: The Ghent Altarpiece

Monday 30th November 6.00pm

The magnificent Ghent Altarpiece otherwise known as The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb is often considered the defining masterpiece of Northern Renaissance art. Van Eyck's largest ever painting, measuring nearly 5 metres across when opened, was ground-breaking in terms of technique displaying a vast array of brilliant colours with brushwork so detailed and precise that even the tiniest of details can be discerned, from fine blades of grass to delicate spiders' webs. Its extraordinary realism was matched by a revolutionary approach to iconography, depicting saints and biblical characters in a highly original manner that had never been seen before, indeed the meaning of the painting continues to incite debate amongst art historians even today. Despite its size, the altarpiece has become the subject of frequent art thefts and indeed is sometimes known as "the world's most stolen painting". Explore the fascinating and dramatic history of this beautiful work of art.

This is a live-streamed lecture which will be given by Siân Walters at 6.00pm GMT.  Tune in from anywhere in the world to watch or enjoy a recorded version of the lecture which can be accessed for up to 24 hours afterwards.

The lecture will last one hour and will be followed by questions which Siân will answer live.


Here are some links for those who would like to explore the painting further, after the lecture

https://visit.gent.be/en/calendar/van-eyck-optical-revolution - a virtual visit of the exhibition with its curator

http://closertovaneyck.kikirpa.be/ghentaltarpiece/ - a wonderful website about the altarpiece’s ongoing restoration

https://www.burlington.org.uk/archive/exhibition-review/van-eyck-an-optical-revolution-museum-voor-schone-kunsten-ghent - article by Flemish painting expert and former National Gallery curator Lorne Campbell about the exhibition in Ghent


Further Information


1. BOOK.

Click on the gold “Book This Course/Event” button on the right hand side now, fill in the online booking form and pay online. Please use a UK account/card (if you are paying using a non-UK account/card please email us to arrange alternative payment methods). You will be notified automatically by email once your booking has been accepted.

Please ensure you enter your email address correctly, as your Zoom link will be sent to this address, thank you.

The participation fee is £10 per person, if making bookings for a number of people please provide their email addresses when booking them as separate participants.


Download ZOOM once you have booked - please print/download the instructions in this downloadable link and read them carefully. 


You will receive an email approximately 24-48 hours in advance of the event asking you to register.** This is a privacy function enabling only registered participants to attend. After registering you will automatically receive the Zoom log in link - please keep this safely.

** Please note that these details are sent out in office hours, so if you book on a weekend you may not receive them until Monday. You must register with the same name that you have booked under and at least 45 minutes before the lecture begins, otherwise you may not be able to watch. If you have not received your email confirmations, please check your ‘deleted items' and 'junk mail' folders.


Join the lecture at least ten minutes before it is scheduled to start, to ensure everything is working.

If you are not able to watch the lecture at the time it is live-streamed, you can still book online, as above. You will be contacted after the lecture has been broadcast with instructions on how to access the recorded lecture, for up to 24 hours afterwards.You do not need to advise us if you can't participate live, don't worry!

Bookings close the day before the lecture is streamed.

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for booking this event. We regret that we are unable to offer technical support with Zoom but tips can be found in the attachment. If you would like to book more than one event, please book separately for each lecture that you would like to attend, thank you. If you are booking for more than one person, it is important that you include their email address so that we can send them the lecture link too. We regret we are unable to offer refunds but don't worry if you are not able to attend, as we will send you the recorded lecture link.

Van Eyck, The Ghent Altarpiece © Cathedral of St Bavo, Ghent


  • Online, live lecture
  • Viewable from anywhere in the world
  • Live Q&A afterwards


  • Price: £10.00
  • Venue: See Further Information
  • Lecturer: Siân Walters


Booking is now closed.

If you have any questions regarding the course or booking please send us an email

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