Restoring old paintings is never an easy job. It’s tough to keep everyone happy, even if you do it well.
In the case of the Ghent altarpiece, whose central panel is titled Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, everyone is pretty mad that the restorers did too good of a job.
The 15th century painting in St Bavo’s Cathedral in Belgium is thought to be the first major artwork to use oil paint.
The panel that’s got everyone up in arms features a pretty placid lamb standing on a table while his chest spurts out blood. His sacrifice is supposed to represent that of Jesus Christ, which might go some way to explaining the way the restoration looks.
The sheep, which was painted over in 1550, has now been fully revealed in a multi-million restoration project.
In doing so, the restorers have revealed his “alarmingly humanoid” face, staring at the audience as he calmly bleeds out.
People have been jokingly sharing the images of the two versions side by side on Twitter, however, the restoration is simply exactly how it should have looked in the first place.
Of course, not everyone is mad about the restoration...
That hasn’t stopped the head restorer, Hélène Dubois, calling the new face “a shock for everybody”.
Nothing like this had ever been observed on early Netherlandish painting.
Reportedly, only 5% of the original paint has been lost in the process.