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Fields & Applications Technology

Image of the Month: Mutton Dressed as Lamb?

The restored (original) lamb's face
The lamb's face, as painted over in the 16th century


The “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” (or the “Ghent Altarpiece”) is supposedly the most stolen painting in history. Almost 600 years after its completion in 1432, researchers applied X-ray fluorescence scanning to reveal the original face of the central lamb, believed to have been painted over in the 16th century. Here we see the restored version (photo one) and repainted version (photo two) of the painting. Some might say the elusive 16th century painter had the right idea – what do you think?

Image credit: @frajds (Twitter)

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About the Author

Matthew Hallam

I've always wanted a career in which I could practice my creativity, even when I worked on the assembly line in a fish factory. At one time, I channeled this need into dance, drawing, poetry and fiction, and I still do most of these things. But, following completion of my MSc(Res) in Translational Oncology and time working in labs and as a Medical Writer for major pharmaceutical companies, I'm happy to find myself in a career that allows me to combine my creative side with my scientific mind as the Editor of The Analytical Scientist.

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