According to an inscriptionon the back, this magnificent diptych is by Quinten Massys. It dates to circa 1505, a bit shy of a century after Van Eyck. The ravishing, crowned Mary is praying against a blue background. Her head leans towards the equally enchanting Christ. His is presented frontally here, as the so-called 'Salvator Mundi,' the 'Saviour of the World.' Look at his gesture of blessing and his princely, beautifully detailed sceptre. The Hebrew characters on Mary's blue garment are the famous first words of the first book of the Bible, Genesis: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...' With Christ the characters seem merely to be decorative. Realism. Enormous degree of detail. Frontal portraits...: it all began with Jan van Eyck, as you have been able to get to know in this exhibition. With Quinten Massys, we leave Bruges and Ghent, and we land in Antwerp. The city of the Scheldt becomes the place to be in the 16th century, also for painters. Previously already, the painter named Petrus Christus took the torch from Van Eyck in Bruges. He is inspired by Van Eyck's compositions. You can also discover him in this gallery. We hope that you have enjoyed your visit! An optical revolution has played out right before your eyes. Thanks to the genius of Jan van Eyck and the flourishing time in which he lived. Until the next time!
On February 1st 2020, the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent opened the largest Jan van Eyck exhibition in history: 'Van Eyck. An Optical Revolution'. Half of his oeuvre travelled to Ghent, where it was brought together with work from Van Eyck's studio, copies of paintings that have since disappeared and more than 100 masterpieces from the late Middle Ages. Due to the precautions taken against the further spread of COVID-19, the internationally acclaimed exhibition is unfortunately currently closed. Therefore, we would like to make the audio guide belonging to the exhibition available online. In this way the listener can still get a little closer to the work of the master. Have fun listening!