Ghent altarpiece lamb restored to reveal sassy human face

A few years ago, the over-zealous overpainting of a Spanish fresco left Jesus looking less than saintly. Now, another restoration effort has caught the attention of the general public – and this time the painting is a lot more famous. And while the results aren't as outright horrifying as that poor Spanish Jesus, this renewed artwork would definitely make you look twice (perhaps the creator would have benefitted from our how to draw tutorial roundup?).

The Ghent Altarpiece was painted by brothers Jan and Hubert Van Eyck in the 15th century, and has become one of the most celebrated artworks of its time. Sadly, over the centuries, the priceless 12-panel polyptych has become yellowed, and marred by various touchup efforts from other artists. Notably, the lamb that forms the centerpiece of the entire scene was painted over by a different artist in 1550.

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Ruth Hamilton

Ruth spent a couple of years as Deputy Editor of Creative Bloq, and has also either worked on or written for almost all of the site's former and current print titles, from Computer Arts to ImagineFX. She now spends her days reviewing mattresses and hiking boots as the Outdoors and Wellness editor at, but continues to write about design on a freelance basis in her spare time.