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".