In this Flemish top piece, Van Dyck combined an exceedingly simple composition with exuberant emotions: Christ’s suffering, the sorrow of Mary, John and Mary Magdalene, the soldiers’ cruelty. The dramatic clouds and the juxtaposition of the paleness of Christ’s naked body with the dark garments of the bystanders make the scene even more poignant. This work was the most expensive altarpiece Van Dyck painted between 1627 and 1632.
This church has a long and special building history starting all the way back in 1440 and lasting over 200 years. The gothic building displays a striking unity of style, which is also apparent in its interior, and makes it a haven of stillness in the midst of the Ghent inner city hustle and bustle.