The painting is around 500 years old. Over the centuries, the condition of the ceiling painting gradually deteriorated. While this was due partly to natural aging, external factors also played a role, such as rainwater and interim restoration. This was especially evident on the painting’s decaying wooden panels which had been seriously damaged. Jacob’s splendid painting could no longer do itself justice. In 2003, a decision was taken that would have major repercussions: the ceiling painting would be restored!

The project turned into something huge: the actual restoration work took over eight years. The separate ceiling panels cover almost 100 m². Each panel had to be dismantled individually and the damaged wood carefully treated. The paint also needed to be restored. Each detail was researched - a time-consuming process. The result is amazing and the paintings now come to life more than ever.

Alkmaar’s St Laurens’s church, home to Jacob’s enormous ceiling paintings, is one of the three exhibition locations.

Would you like to find out more about the restoration? Watch this film.