You can experience Van Eyck’s astonishing art this spring in at the unique OMG, Van Eyck was here exhibition in the Fine Arts Museum in Ghent. Here are 7 more spots to go with a Van Eyck theme.
7 ways to Get close to Van Eyck in Ghent
1) Van Eyck shop
The city has opened a Van Eyck shop in the ancient cellars below the Belfry. Here you can buy design objects by local makers created for the Van Eyck year, including the beer “OMG Van Eyck” brewed using two herbs – sweet-scented bedstraw and yarrow – that appear in the Van Eyck altarpiece. The shop also sells replicas of a mediaeval glass vase painted by Van Eyck.
2) Van Eyck House
A 19th-century house in the centre of Ghent is believed to be the site of the artists’ studio where the Ghent Altarpiece was painted. The house is decorated with the heads of Jan and Hubert van Eyck, based on portraits in the Ghent altarpiece. The building is now occupied by a Neuhaus chocolate shop.
Explore Ghent’s history in a stunning museum located in a restored mediaeval abbey. The museum was renovated in 2010 by the Ghent city architect Koen Van Nieuwenhuyse. One room is dedicated to the unsolved mystery surrounding the theft of a panel from the Van Eyck altarpiece in 1934.
4) Van Eyck Monument
A bronze monument dedicated to Jan and Hubert van Eyck stands on a little square next to the Cathedral. It was unveiled in 1913 as part of the Ghent World Fair celebrations. Located outside the chapel where the Van Eyck Altarpiece originally hung, the work depicts the brothers seated on thrones surrounded by admirers carrying flowers and garlands.
Pearl-Lisa De Buck is a Ghent designer who creates unique handbags in a work space next to the River Leie. She uses unusual materials like rubber and ostrich leather to make exclusive bags in vivid colours. De Buck has created a special bag to mark the Van Eyck exhibition, sold in the Van Eyck shop.
6) Helen B en vrienden
Illustrator Helen Blanchaert sells quirky handmade porcelain coffee mugs in a tiny shop opposite the Sint Jacobskerk. Her mugs are decorated with witty black ink sketches of local couples, hipsters and baristas. Helen has added a quirky Adam and Eve mug to her range for the Van Eyck year.
7) Ganda Rooms & Suites
Annik Fantin has created a gorgeous hideaway in a grand town house dating from 1757. Her six guest rooms are carefully decorated with sofas, paintings and sculptures to create a rich sensual residence in the heart of the Sint-Jacobs quarter. She offers a vast collection of information linked to the Van Eyck exhibition, along with advice on good restaurants. Book your tickets quickly, she advises.
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The 500 Hidden Secrets of Ghent reveals off-the-beaten-track places and interesting details for anyone who's keen to explore Ghent's best-kept secrets.
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