“The idea of linking ‘The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’ to the adoration of true love in all its forms, is an obvious one. Truth was central to this work, as is love,” said Peter De Wilde, CEO of VISITFLANDERS. “Today, it's easy to be like Adam and Eve if you colour 'inside the lines'. The Van Eyck brothers were all about drawing new lines and doing things their own way. For the many couples, that don’t fit the norm and are met with hostility through both words and deeds, we were persuaded to “hack” the Ghent Altarpiece. In doing so, we hope to demonstrate our dedication to diversity by highlighting our unique artistic heritage and promoting Flanders as a cultural and inclusive tourist destination.
Everyone who wants to express their adoration for ‘true love’ can participate. A short video has been made for the ‘hack’. Visitors to the site can share the video and optionally include their own photo. If they upload a photo, they'll feature in the video's intro. The video can be personalised on www.adorationoftruelove.com.
‘The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’ is one of the most influential religious paintings in the world and the most frequently stolen artwork of all time. The monumental ‘Ghent Altarpiece’ was painted on oak panels, covered with a mixture of chalk and animal glue. The figures were painted by applying countless layers of oil paint. The delicate application and translucent paint creates an extra dimension: the painting seems to glow from within. Using these techniques, the Van Eyck brothers permanently changed the way we look at art. Their optical method of painting resulted in art that was so lifelike, it was uncanny. Adam and Eve, who flank the ‘Ghent Altarpiece’, are the silent witnesses to this. Their overwhelming nakedness caused outrage among the elite, and for this reason, the outer panels were removed prior to a visit from Joseph II in 1781. Frederick William III of Prussia was similarly disapproving of the nude figures. In 1816, he purchased the outer panels of the Ghent Altarpiece, with the exception of Adam and Eve. In the 19th century, Viktor Lagye went one step further. He reproduced the original side panels with Adam and Eve, painting them not in the nude, but modestly attired.
True love needs to be supported – and that's also the case in Flanders. As long as couples conform to the example set by Adam and Eve, we accept them. But many modern couples do not fit the biblical mould. These expressions of true love are not always understood. Recent facts and figures demonstrate this, given that
- The United Kingdom currently holds the 9th position on the Rainbow-europe ranking. Unfortunately, when it comes to the occurrence of hate crime & hate speech, it drops to the 15th position.
- A recent study shows: over two thirds (68%) of all respondents with a minority sexual orientation said they had avoided holding hands in public with a same-sex partner for fear of a negative reaction from others.
- A mixed-race couple have decided to leave Ireland with their baby after they received a death threat and massive online abuse over their appearance in a supermarket advert.