The painting depicts the building of the Tower of Babel surrounded by wooden scaffolding, on a site where carpenters, builders and stone masons can be seen. The scene shows off some construction techniques from the Late Middle Ages, when many tasks where carried out on the site itself; a worker puts a container of mortar into the hexagonal tower beneath an arch held in place by a wooden centring. Putlogs, into which the horizontal beams of the scaffolding were inserted, can be seen around the tower made of the stonemasonry that abounded in Flanders. The mechanical nippers shown at the top of the painting transport a large ashlar using a hand-driven crane connected to a large wheel that works like a Ferris wheel.
Carlos Miranda García-Tejedor
Doctor in History