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An Optical Revolution with Van Eyck and Barco

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An Optical Revolution with Van Eyck and Barco
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2020 is the Van Eyck year in Ghent, Belgium, with various initiatives and festivities celebrating the exceptional talent of the Flemish Master and his extraordinary “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb”. The Museum of Fine Arts Ghent (MSK), one of the most important museums in Belgium concerning classical art, opened a new temporary exhibition “Van Eyck: An Optical Revolution” focusing on the back panels of the masterpiece.

The eight newly restored altarpiece panels were exceptionally transferred from the Ghent’s Saint Bavo’s Cathedral in order to be exhibited in the MSK. In addition, this largest Jan Van Eyck exhibition ever also showcases a vast amount of other works attributed to the painter, his workshop and his contemporaries.

To make this exceptional exhibition even more outstanding, the MSK organization called for tenders and decided upon working with Ocular, audiovisual specialist and expert in engaging museum experiences. The aim was to fill the central room of the museum with an innovative visualization which could tell the story of the Flemish master and the restoration campaign of the Ghent Altarpiece. Together they went looking for a digital display solution which allowed the museum to tell this tale and show the extra-ordinary details of both the exterior and interior panels of the monumental work. All without risking any damage to the original oil paintings which remained safely in the cathedral or in fortified display cases.

“As the top artworks of Van Eyck were brought together for this exposition, it was very important to work with technology that enables the best picture quality possible,” says Séverine Baert, Project manager Fundraising & Partnerships Museum of Fine Arts (MSK Gent). That’s where Barco UniSee came into play. The bezel-less LCD videowall with its high resolution and Barco’s outstanding technical support from start to finish was exactly what the MSK needed to bring the impressive piece of art history to life and upgrade the museum experience significantly.

A real once-in-a-lifetime opportunity you could say. A must-see.

The stay at home museum

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic and the related lockdown measures threw a wrench in the works. That is until Visit Flanders decided to introduce the “Stay at Home Museum”, bringing sensational exhibitions to the art lovers’ homes with free virtual guided tours in Flanders’ most renowned museums. And with success! Over 330,000 visitors from all over the world have watched the first videos, and the BBC has praised the unique project as Best Lockdown Entertainment.

In need of some cultural diversion today? You can watch the private guided Van Eyck tour here. Also check to delve deeper into the story of Jan van Eyck and get a feel of the unique exhibition experience.

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