‘Lamb of God’ Painting Restoration Reveals Original Work That Looks Like ‘Creepy Goat’
A controversial restoration of the world-famous Ghent Altarpiece, otherwise known as the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, sent the faithful feeling aghast at what seems to be cultural and religious sacrilege: The Lamb of God now looks like a goat with human-like eyes.
The altarpiece was created in the 1420s and installed at the St. Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium. It is attributed to 15th-century masters Hubert and Jan van Eyck. It is a significant piece of world heritage, as it is largely considered as the first major artwork created using oil paint as medium.
The multimillion-dollar restoration project revealed original artwork that was painted over in 1550 by a different artist who wanted to make the sheep look more, well, sheep-like. The original Lamb of God in the painting sports more vivid eyes, a more defined pouting lips, and a pinker, brighter nose.
‘This is not a joke.’
Father A.J. Schrenk, a priest from the diocese of Pittsburgh expressed his surprise in a tweet. “Uh, so apparently they restored the Ghent Altarpiece and…” he said, before posting pre- and post-restoration photos of the artwork.
When some people expressed doubt about the authenticity of the restoration, the priest responded with: “This is not a joke.”
Uh, so apparently they restored the Ghent Altarpiece and pic.twitter.com/JljwfEZlzu— F?. A. J. D. S. (@frajds) January 20, 2020
This is not a joke.https://t.co/Sg0OLSUUoG— F?. A. J. D. S. (@frajds) January 20, 2020
Naturally, people lost their minds and turned Father Schrenk’s tweet into a meme, with some comparing it to the infamous Ecce Homo fresco restoration.
But all I can see is pic.twitter.com/kKkbVZyn1Z— ??????? ???????? (@somecaboose) January 20, 2020
The Ghent Altarpiece underwent restoration in 2012, starting with the eight outer panels. The full restoration is expected to be finished in 2021.
The Ghent Altarpiece