Job on the Mound of Manure

ca. 1505

Mixed technique on limewood
Inv. No. 890

96 × 51.5 cm

zur  Biographie

Along with the depiction of two musicians (Cologne, Wallraf Richartz Museum) this panel – which has been trimmed off at the top – once formed the exterior of an altar retable, i. e. the side visible when the wings were closed. Job is an Old Testament figure who is repeatedly smitten with bad luck and tested by God. Here he endures his trial on the mound of manure, accompanied by his wife and his friends. The latter attempt to cheer him up with music, while his spouse administers a jet of water to her ill husband. The rather strange motif may be a reminiscence of the “Bath of Job” before the gates of Annaberg in Saxon: Dürer’s altar painting was perhaps intended for the chapel there.

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