Thursday, July 2, 2009

Isenheim Altarpiece: Resurrection

Title: Isenheim Altarpiece: Resurrection

Artist: Matthias Grünewald

Medium: Oil on wood

Size: 269 x 154 cm

Date: 1516

Location: Unterlinden Museum, Colmar, France.

Grünewald painted the panels of the altarpiece from 1512 to 1516 in a chapel of a hospital and monastery run by Antonite monks in the town of Isenheim. At the direction of the Antonite monks, he took an existing altarpiece of wood carvings and transformed it into a stunning, many-layered polyptych. The resulting work was designed to show three different sets of scenes, depending on how many "wings," or hinged panels, were swung open.

The most hopeful and unusual section of the middle stage is the panel that portrays the Resurrection. Aglow and surrounded by light, Christ bursts out of his tomb, a slight smile on his red lips, his skin as white as alabaster. Nothing remains of his suffering save for a neat red slash on each palm and foot and a slim scar on his side.

Matthias Grünewald (c. 1470 – August 31, 1528), was an important German Renaissance painter of religious works. Much like the mystery of William Shakespeare, the identity of Matthias Grünewald remains shrouded in confusion and conjecture. Most scholars now believe that Grünewald's real name was either Mathis Gothardt or Mathis Gothardt Neithardt, but they continue the convention of using the wrong name. The details of Grünewald's life also remain largely a mystery.

No comments:

Post a Comment