December 29, 2013
Painted 1505 - 1510 by Jörg Ratgeb
Christ took leave of his apostles at the Last Supper and predicted that one of them would betray him. It was Judas, seen receiving a host from Christ as Catholics still do when they go to Communion.
The painting has a mass of striking details whose meaning is not always clear. The apostle blowing his nose so disrespectfully is the most intriguing one
Jörg Ratgeb (circa1480??1526) was a German painter and contemporary of Dürer.
Ratgeb was born in Schwäbisch Gmünd. Around the turn of the 15th to 16th century, he appears to have spent time in Italy, where he came in contact with Italian Renaissance art and with the recently developed use of perspective in painting. After returning to Germany, he settled in Heilbronn. In 1510, he painted the altar of Saint Barbara in the church of nearby Schwaigern.
From 1514 to 1517 he was in Frankfurt am Main, where he painted the walls of the refectory and cloister of the Karmeliterkloster (Carmelite Monastery). The paintings, of which only fragments survive, are the largest wall paintings known to the north of the Alps from that period. His most famous work is the Herrenberg Altarpiece, completed in 1521. It was originally painted for the Stiftskirche (abbey church) of Herrenberg. Today, it is on display in the Staatgalerie at Stuttgart. Ratgeb had developed a distinctive personal expressive style, visibly influenced by artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Matthias Grünewald and Hieronymus Bosch.
Because of his marriage with a serf of the Duke of Württemberg he lost most of his rights as a citizen of Heilbronn. He moved to Stuttgart, where he became a member of the city council. In that position, he negotiated with the rebelling farmers during the German Peasants' War in 1525. He became part of the military contingent requested by the rebels and was elected councillor and chancellor by the peasants. After the suppression of the rebellion, he was arrested, accused of high treason (“because of the Peasant War and on behalf of Duke Ulrich”) and finally executed in Pforzheim in 1526, by being torn apart by four horses.
The Last Supper
December 29, 2013