Jabach Altarpiece Piper and Drummer Albrecht Durer Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Albrecht Durer was among the greatest minds of German artists. The Jabach Altarpiece Piper and Drummer was commissioned in German for the Wittenberg palace. They tell the story of Job and his faith in God. In the painting, Job is seen on the stone seated while supporting his head with the left hand.

Job's wife is pouring water over his diseased skin to show compassion while the musicians nearby play to soothe the suffering job. The drummer located on the right side is the artist's self-portrait. The central part of the panel was lost, leaving behind the wings. The central theme in the remaining wing shows the story of four saints (inside) and Job (outside). The artwork was commissioned by the wiser of the church (Fredrick) at his palace to show the end of the 1503 plague. Most of the paintings in the Jabach Altarpiece Piper and Drummer was done by Albrecht Durer. However, his assistants help with some paintings. The story of Job, the only man who refuses to leave God at his grave misfortune moments, is well described by the painting.

Job's afflictions resulted from God and Satan's argument concerning whether Job's faith was strong to remain intact through adversity. In the panel, Job's body was full of boils which was an appropriate altarpiece used to mark the end of the plague. On the upper side of the painting, Job's crops and house are on fire, and the devil flees figure destructed. The right panel of the drawing depict a piper and drummer, Albrecht Durer's features. At a distance behind the drummer, the flock is being led away by thieves. The inside wings depict the four saints who are placed against the gold background. The left-wing show St. Joseph and St. Joachim is learning on stuff. The right-wing contains St. Lazarus and St. Simeon with his bishop's Mitre and Crosier.

The family later acquired the artwork and kept it in their family chapel until the eighteen century in cologne. The two sets of painting were sawn apart, and the painting with Job's story was reduced in size along the edge and at the top. The panels are divided and dispersed between three museums in Germany. It is challenging to know the significance of other wings since the subject matter in the central panel is unknown and lost. The medium used in the painting is oil on the panel with a height of 94cm and a width of 51cm.