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Stained Glass

Armorial panel of Basle with associated panel above from the Basle town hall

Key data

dated 1514 Basle

Height 50.5 cm, width 49 cm

height 24 cm, width 55 cm

Inv. 1925.62.

Inv. 1925.179.


The armorial panel with angels and the richly figured panel above it were originally part of a set of four panels, of which the remainder are now lost, made for the small council room at the rear of Basle town hall by a Basle glass painter in 1514. The main picture, which was completed by columns or pilasters on each side, depicts two angels splendidly dressed as deacons with the escutcheon of the episcopal city. The top panel, painted in grisaille with black and silver stain, relates the legend of Herkinbald, which Rogier van der Weyden had earlier illustrated in his picture cycle for the council chamber of Brussels town hall. Like the fresco cycle by Hans Holbein the Younger in the great council chamber in Basle, painted after 1521, the top panels were exemplary illustrations of justice of the type commonly found in council chambers and courtrooms in the Middle Ages. The writing on the curlicued Gothic banner contains the first of four maxims: "von dem recht nit wich" (do not deviate from justice). The others read: "richt glich arm and rich" Judge rich and poor equally), "bisz nit ze fast grim" (be not too severe) and "hor auch des andre stim" (listen to the other's point of view).

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Basel Historical Museum
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CH – 4001 Basel

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