Jacob Acker

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Jacob Acker was a painter in the second half of the 15th century in Ulm, Germany. He painted the impressive altar in the St. Leonhard cemetery Chapel in Ehingen (Donau)-Risstissen, Germany which bears his inscription Jacob acker maler zu ulm hat diese dafel gemacht uf des hailligen Kreutz tag an herst. anno dmi MCCCCLXXXIII jar. This means: "Jacob Acker, painter in Ulm has completed this painting on the day of the holy cross in the year of 1483".

Not much is known about this Jacob Acker "der Jüngere" (the younger). Most probably he belonged to the extended Ulm artist family of the Acker, many of them members of the so-called "Ulmer Schule" (school of Ulm). This dynasty of artists started with Jakob Acker "dem Älteren" (the elder), who lived around 1400. He painted some of the glass windows of the Ulm cathedral today still existing. His son Hans Acker (about 1380-1461) continued with this profession and also his glass windows still can be admired in the Ulm cathedral. Whether Jacob Acker "der Juengere" is a son or brother of Hans Acker is not known.

But it is known that Jakob Acker d. J. had produced doors with paintings for the main organ of the Ulm cathedral. This organ and Jakob Acker's doors are lost. In 1529 Ulm converted to Protestantism; under the radical influence of the reformer Zwingli on the so-called “Götzentag” during summer 1531 the people of Ulm burned most paintings, altars and organs of the Ulm cathedral in a huge fire on the square in front of the cathedral. The Germans called this fundamentalist Protestant religious movement "die Bilderstürmer" (iconoclasts).

Because Risstissen, some 12 miles southwest of Ulm, then only partially owned by the city of Ulm remained Roman Catholic, Jakob Acker's remarkable Risstissen altar survived. It is believed to have been part of the decoration of the then gothic main church of Risstissen, which was removed at the end of the 18th century, to give way for the actual main church.

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