It was to be the big “event” of the year! Alas, the coronavirus came to thwart the party and the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent (Belgium) had to close its doors in March, at the same time as those of the exhibition “Van Eyck, an Optical Revolution”.
For the organizers, this was obviously a heartbreaker, and this is all the more regrettable since it was the first time that half of the known works (only twenty, in total) of Jan Van Eyck were finally reunited in a retrospective, alongside the works of his most talented contemporaries. The press was full of praise, and the tickets had been sold in record time.
In this difficult context, Flanders has decided to launch its concept “The Stay at Home Museum”.
In this context, the Tourist Office of Flanders, VISITFLANDERS, in collaboration with the co-curator of the exhibition, Till-Holger Borchert, invites art lovers from all over the world to admire the works of Jan Van Eyck anyway but via an original virtual platform.
Wednesday April 8, at 7:00 p.m., Deputy Commissioner Till-Holger Borchert will host a guided tour of the exhibition on Facebook Live.
Frederica Van Dam, art historian, will then respond live to a question and answer session with Internet users.
► If you are interested in the virtual visit, register now on the Flemish Masters 2018-2020 Facebook page or go directly to the FB post and log in at 19:00, this Wednesday, April 8, 2020.
► If you want to ask the exhibition commissioner questions, a interactive session ‘Facebook Live Q&A’ is planned on the Flemish Masters page 2018 – 2020
► If you can’t join the live tour, check out the VISIT YouTube channelFLANDERS (the video will be online from April 8 at 8 p.m.).
This virtual tour of the Jan Van Eyck exhibition will kick off the concept “Stay at Home Museum”. During the confinement period, art lovers will enjoy a virtual tour of the main museums in Flanders. After Van Eyck, other Flemish Masters such as Bruegel, Rubens, Ensor and others will be on offer in the coming weeks.
Opportunities not to be missed. For those who have forgotten it a bit, remember that for more than 250 years, from the 15th to the end of the 17th century, Flanders was one of the main cradles of Fine Arts in Western Europe and a source of inspiration for the great artistic movements of the time: the primitive Flemish, then the Renaissance and finally the baroque.
Flemish artists like van Eyck, but not only him of course, became known for their know-how, creativity and technical innovations. They have above all contributed to transforming the already rich and urbanized province of Flanders into one of the most refined cultural spaces, with impressive achievements both in terms of art and architecture.
To learn more about Bruges, the city where Jan van Eyck lived and worked a good part of his life, read on my blog, the posts devoted to Bruges and to the painter.