Wappenscheibe des Johannes Gebwiler

Armorial panel of Johannes Gebwiler

dated 1497
Upper Rhine region
Height 45 cm, width 32 cm
Inv. 1958.19.

3091px x 4380px
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The subject of the glass painting, which according to the inscription was donated by Magister Johannes Gebwiler, is St Jerome: he was venerated as the patron saint of teachers, theologians and universities. Gebwiler came from Colmar and was educated as a theologian at Basle and Freiburg in Breisgau; nothing is known of his career in the last two decades of the C15, but in 1507 he became a canon at St Peter in Basle. His academic career as a professor of theology, dean and three times rector at Basle University came to an end in 1523 because of his opposition to the Reformation. The repentant St Jerome with the features of a young monk is kneeling in his undergarment, having laid aside his red cardinal's robe, in front of the entrance to his cave, beating his breast with stones as he is tormented by temptations. In their present form his constant companion, the lion, and the coat of arms beneath it are later additions. Between the rocks the view opens out on to the landscape with a town in the background. The donor himself is depicted as a canon, recognisable by his fur, at the bottom left by the pedestal of the framing Gothic arch.

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