What does the Ghent Altarpiece tell us?


Opening hours

Open 10 till 17 h
(access until 16.30h)



- children until 12 
- holders of a City card
2 euro
(also groups)

combination ticket 12 Euros (admission to the 3 locations Saint-Bavo Cathedral, Museum for Fine Arts (MSK), Caermersklooster)



Caermersklooster Provincial Cultural Centre 
Vrouwebroersstraat 6 (Patershol)
9000 Ghent (Belgium)
tel. +32 (0)9 269 29 10
www.caermersklooster.be - www.kikirpa.be

Guided tours available on request from

vzw Gandante
+32 (0)9 375 31 61

De Gentse Gidsen 
+32 (0)9 233 07 72

+32 (0) 498 10 99 61

The altarpiece entitled “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” was painted by brothers Hubert and Jan Van Eyck and completed in 1432. With masterful realism, it tells a story that still strikes a chord with many of us today. Yet the exact interpretation of the altarpiece is still open for discussion. An initial exhibition, focusing on the many historical, theological and iconographical questions raised by the altarpiece, sheds some light on the overall context, in which these discussions are taking place. By conducting interviews, we can delve more deeply into the way, in which the various arguments are presented, as well as the choice of words and background of each speaker.

Art historians compare the stylistic properties and painting technique seen in the Ghent Altarpiece with other works from the history of art. In doing so, each expert has his or her own way of drawing on material, technical, iconographical and/or historical research. - Prof. Dr. Maximiliaan Martens, University of Ghent - Dr. Bart Franssen, Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, Brussels

Theologians focus on documents, in which faith plays a central role, such as the Bible, as well as a wide range of texts and comments that have been recorded over the course of time. In turn, this “exegesis” has implications for the historical context, in which the Christian religion has developed, and for possible ways of understanding the religious message. - Em. Prof. Dr. Luc Dequeker, KU Leuven

Roman catholic priests and nuns base their life decisions first and foremost on their faith. The liturgical role of the altarpiece, as an object of devotion, is central to their deliberations. The principal theme of the “Ghent Altarpiece”, which is the salvation of mankind through the Celebration of the Eucharist, illustrates the role played by religious faith in their everyday lives. - E.H. Ludo Collin, Zr Noëlla Jordens, E.H. Lode Aerts, E.H. Joris Polfliet, Diocese of Ghent