Friday, March 29, 2013

Who painted this? #22

On an Easter theme, I had a choice of possible paintings - but surprisingly rather fewer than I expected.  In the end I decided to vary the format slightly and to ask you.....

....In which painting can you see this lamb - and, in addition to the normal questions, what is it a symbol of?

Who painted this? #22

How to participate in "Who painted this? #22"

PLEASE make sure you read the rules before posting a comment - and ONLY POST ON THIS BLOG what you think is the answer.

Click this link to read THE RULES for participating in this challenge (this saves having to copy them out for each post!).

In short:
  • use your brains not software to find the answer
  • search using words only on a database of images
  • leave your answer as a comment on this blog
  • if correct it will not be published until the next post - which provides the answer
  • if wrong it will be published
  • do not leave the answer on Facebook!
  • the winner - who gets a mention and a link on/from this blog - is the first person to give me a completely correct answer for ALL the things I want to know

The Artist's Studio by Thomas Rowlandson
Who Painted This #21 - The Answer
Thomas Rowlandson (1756 – 1827) was a caricaturist as well as an English artist.  

I'm afraid I wasn't aware that that he had produced quite so many engravings which were described as "lewd" by one of the the people who guessed correctly. Having briefly reviewed them that's maybe an understatement.  My apologies to anybody whose sensibilities were offended!

The correct answers

This wasn't easy as it was possible to take a long diversion via Hogarth et all before arriving at the right artist - as some did!

The first correct answer was submitted by Alyson Champ (The Chronicle of Wasted Time)

In addition the following people also got the correct answer:
Well done all of you!


  1. Hi Katherine
    I’m sure I won’t be the first to get this right, but I’ve enjoyed being able to guess the work this week! Normally I’m too slow or spend the whole week searching for the work every time I’m on the laptop and don’t get any work done (not that I need an excuse or anything!!)
    o the title of the artwork
    “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb”
    o the name of the artist who created this artwork
    It is thought that Hubert van Eyck painted it until his death in 1426 when it was completed by his younger brother Jan.
    o the date it was created
    o the media used
    It is part of a very large polytypch panel painting so guessing either oil or egg tempera.
    o where it lives now
    Cathedral of St. Bavo in Ghent, Belgium
    o how you know all this eg how did you do your search?
    I searched for “mystic lamb” and “blood” because I remember the term mystic lamb being used at school (Church on a number of occasions. I thought it might be Van Eyck based on the style of the painting but enjoyed reading the history of the work which I found on Wikipedia and more interestingly!
    o What is the lamb a symbol of?
    “Van Eyck comprehended the biblical understanding of Christ as the Lamb of God who died on the cross to take away the moral guilt of those who accept him as Saviour. But this Christ is not now dead. He stands upright and alive on the altar, symbolizing that he died as the substitute, sacrificed, but he now lives! As van Eyck painted this, almost certainly he had Jesus’ own words in mind, as Christ speaks in the Apocalypse, the last book in the Bible: 'I am the living one that became dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and I have the keys of death and hades'.”

    [Francis Schaeffer, “How Should We Then Live?: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture,” Crossway Books, p. 66.]”


  2. I knew this one by sight. Details from Wikipedia.

    Adoration of the Mystic Lamb- from the Ghent Altarpiece
    Jan and Hubert Van Eyck
    Lives in St. Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium

  3. Jan Van Eyck painting “Ghent Altarpiece”, finished 1432
    also called The adoration of the mystic Lamb
    It is a symbol of Christ set out in John 1.29 the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world ( through the crucifiction)
    Oil on wood panel
    Said to be the first great oil painting and the first panel painting of the Rennaisance. Has been involved in seven thefts.
    Originally commissioned from Hubert Van Eyck and completed by Jan, his brother.

  4. It was completed in 1432 (I don't remember if I gave you the date)
    and it is a detail from the Gent altarpiece.

  5. It is part of the "Ghent Altarpiece" Adoration of the Mystic Lamb and sits in the centre of the lower register.
    By Jan Van Eyck
    Completed 1432
    Oil Paint, Wood and Tempera.
    Museum of fine arts Ghent
    The lamb is depicted bleeding from the heart and symbolises Jesus shedding his blood to take away the sins of the world.

    I searched for religious iconography of sheep.

  6. I wasn't upset by the lewd/pornographic images of Thomas Rowlandson , just a bit surprised. LOL. Everything is so sanitized in the US. I use to volunteer for the Blanton museum in Austin and when we had groups of school children, we had to somehow shield them from the few nude classic paintings it has in its collection. Nudity is a very big concern in some places in the US, one teacher in TX lost her job because she failed to inform a parent that there might be nudity in the Dallas gallery they were visiting. Apparently the parent was very upset!

    As to this weeks challenge- I found it quite easily so I suspect you will have lots of correct answers.

    Ghent altarpiece- adoration of the mystic lamb

    Hubert and Jan Van Eyck

    Principal design attributed to Hubert but completed by Jan in1430-32

    Painted on oak panels paint is mineral pigments in cement of drying oil - oil paints.

    Found at Saint -Bavo's Cathedral, Ghent

    The lamb is symbolic of Jesus on the cross, with the wound being the symbol of the sword piecing his heart and flowing in the cup which holds the communal wine Christians drink at Mass. A lamb is often used as symbol for Jesus as John the Baptist said -'Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world ' when he see Jesus

    Beautiful work, wish I could see it in person. I have the
    Adam and Evein the form of a postcard on my studio wall

  7. I tried to leave the answer on my Iphone, but it would not connect, so now I have dragged myself out of bed to my computer...

    This is the centerpiece in one of my favorite paintings in the world!
    The Ghent altarpiece, in the cathedral of Ghent, Belgium.
    It was painted in the years 1430 - 1432 by the brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck. The Ghent altarpiece is the only surviving work that has a signature of Hubert van Eyck. It is Jan van Eyck who is the most famous of the brothers. And he is my favorite painter!

    The technique is oil on panel. When I did my Art History degree at university,( where I did an essay on the Ghent altarpiece) we were taught that the van Eyck brothers invented oilpainting, now I now that is not the case, but it gave an extra romantic feeling for the paintings!

    Th lamb symbolices Jesus Christ, and His sacrificial death for mankind. His blood pours into a chalice, showing us the miracle of the Eucharist. This lamb on an altar is the cener of veneration and is surrounded by angels celebrating mass. Oh, I could go on and on about the symbolism ...

    I have had the luck twice to see the altarpiece, still in the cathedral in Ghent. The first time was with my father, an artist, who, for a curious twelve year old, explained symbols and technique. And then thirty five years later I could do the same for my daughter!

    Everytime I have the luck to be in London I head for the National Gallery and the paintings of Jan van Eyck. They are so marvellous, I cant get enough!And I recently had the fantastic luck to see another one of van Eycks madonnas in the Frick Collection in New York!

    To give something little back to you, as a small thank you for all your great work on this blog, I have a tip on a book I just got. It is called " Van Eyck in detail" and is written by Annick Born and Maximiliaan P. J. Martens. There you get close ups on all details and also the marvellous small daily landscapes one can see behind the religious people in the center of the paintings.

    I do apologize for my english, I just got so carried away with the subject...;-))

    Glad Påsk ! ( Happy Easter in Swedish)

    Charlotta Due (aka Pappersdraken = the paperdragon)

  8. Hello,

    Think I come just after the battle, but though…

    - Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (part of the Ghent Altar piece)
    - by Jan van Eyck (but probably started by his brother Hubert van Eyck, before 1426)
    - Completed in 1432
    - Oil on panel
    - Saint-Bavon cathedral in Ghent (Belgium)
    - I remembered the painting, but a search on the words "mystical lamb" was necessary to confirm (and help for the attribution, I was pretty sure it was Grünewald !)
    - Mystical Lamb could be seen as the immemorial symbol of purity redeeming sins : "Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis". Nothing better for an Easter day!

    Thanks a lot again for the playing pleasure and Happy Easter to you and all the blog followers.

    Cordially. JBP

  9. • the title of the artwork Ghent Altarpiece, The Adoration of the Lamb (Some identify it as The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb.)
    • the name of the artist who created this artwork Hubert and Jan van Eyck (ca. 1390 - 1441)
    • the date it was created: 1432
    • the media used: oil (24 panels hinged together in a polytych)
    • where it lives now: Saint Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium (“A programme of restoration at the Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent began in October 2012, and is projected to last five years.”) So technically it may now be at the museum.
    • how you know all this eg how did you do your search – I was curious so I searched using “painting lamb on altar blood chalice, gold rays” but I had a memory and thought it was van Eyck! Old art in the dark memories linger.
    • in addition to the normal questions, what is it a symbol of?
    The Lamb is a symbol of Christ. "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!...” John 1:29, said by John in identifying Jesus as the Christ (Messiah). Jesus was the sacrifice for all. The lamb, bleeding into the chalice, refers to Communion, where the wine is the blood of Christ.

    Deborah Secor (Thanks--love doing research and this is a favorite subject of mine. Happy Easter!)

  10. Jan (and Hubert) van Eyck: Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (The Ghent Altarpiece)
    oil, panel
    dated in 1432
    The Lamb is the symbol of Christ and his sacrifice
    such a beautiful and meaningfull work!

  11. It was shown on TV last night. It is kept behind bullet proof glass.

  12. It was shown on TV last night. It is kept behind bullet proof glass.


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