Museum of Fine Arts - Painting "The Prophecy of the Recovery of Hezekiah"

The Museum of Fine Arts was founded in 1798 and is one of the oldest museums in the country. Selections of 300 to 350 works of art are permanently on display. This includes a rich and varied collection of paintings, sculptures and graphics.


Item: Painting Jacob de Backer.

We wish to thank the Ghent Museum of Fine Arts for their friendly cooperation and permission.

Jacob de Backer has been described as a "painter of history". He was born in 1530 in Antwerp and he learned the art of painting from his father. After his father fled because of a trial, de Backer went to live with an art dealer, Antonis Palermo. He made sure that Jacob was working non-stop and sold his paintings in Paris where they were much admired. The paintings were very expensive, but even so the painter himself remained poor. The master-painter Jacob de Backer only lived 30 years.

The painting we are presenting here is a triptych from the Baudelo abbey in Ghent. It is currently on display in the above mentioned museum. It was ordered by Jacob del Rio, Abbot of the monastery. Also, painted on the right hand side of it is his patron saint. On a little backboard, next to the painting, is written: "The story here is not often depicted. It is about the miraculous recovery of the Jewish king Hezekiah. As an icon this triptych is very interesting. On the left side, the calvarias; the Old Testament story was painted on the middle panel and the resurrection of Lazarus on the reverse of the panels. These themes are referring to redemption from death". The story of Hezekiah’s illness and miraculous recovery can be read in the Bible, in Isaiah 38:1-20.

In the middle panel, at the top, God's name is written in the Hebrew language with masoretic vowel signs. The word is pronounced as 'Jehowah".





More detail...



- top -