Saint Hubert’s Chapel

In 1872, Count Eberhard XV acquired a late Gothic reredos from the Protestant parish of Erbach. It was originally donated to the pilgrimage church of St. Mary in Schöllenbach at the beginning of the 16th century by Schenk Eberhard XIII zu Erbach and his wife Maria von Wertheim. The purchase of the important carved altarpiece may have prompted the art-loving Count Eberhard XV to set up and consecrate a “sanctuary room” in Erbach Palace to provide a worthy setting for his growing sacred collection.

The chapel dedicated to Saint Hubert still houses important sacred works of art, including the Root of Jesse retable from Schöllenbach, which was lavishly restored from 2006 to 2010 at the Landesamt für Denkmalpflege (State Office for the Preservation of Monuments) in Biebrich Palace in Wiesbaden, in addition to the earliest surviving depictions of Erbach Palace. To this day, the mystery surrounding the probably southern German workshop and its master has not been solved. However, the prominent depiction of the late Gothic Jesse tree theme on a reredos is unique and must have had a lasting effect on the pilgrims who once travelled to Schöllenbach. The work, completed in 1515, still impresses with its size and splendour today.

General view of the Schöllenbach Altarpiece

This late Gothic masterpiece measures 4.30 x 5.20 metres when open.

Photo: Michael Leukel, 2019


The theme is the root of Jesse, an image motif that represents the vote of Jesus Christ from the house of David.

Photo: Michael Leukel, 2019

Figures of the Family Tree of Jesse

From it spring branches with cup-like blossoms bearing twelve biblical kings and, as the most beautiful blossom, the Mother of God Mary with the Christ Child.

Photo: Michael Leukel, 2019

Annunciation panel from the Schöllenbach Altarpiece

The relief panels on the inside of the wings show scenes from the life of Mary.

Photo: Michael Leukel, 2019