The Ghent Altarpiece, completed in 1432, is a masterpiece of Christian art commissioned by Joos Vijd for the Saint Bavo Cathedral chapel in Ghent. The altarpiece has two sides, known as the closed and open sides, and features 12 individual panels with 11 feet of images. Hubert van Eyck started the work but it was completed by his younger brother Jan.
The painting’s significance lies in its religious connection to the Eucharist, which is at the very heart of fifteenth-century Christian doctrine. It was made to sit on an altar and be ritually opened at Mass for priests’ public consecration of the Eucharist. Multiple crowds gather around it to witness this miracle taking place. The Deity Enthroned represents God himself while the Mystic Lamb symbolizes Christ’s sacrifice.
Despite suffering misfortunes throughout history such as theft by Napoleon and looting by Nazis, it still remains one of Christianity’s most important artworks today. Its intricate symbolism continues to fascinate art enthusiasts globally – making it an essential viewing for art lovers and Christians alike.