Isenheim altarpiece

(fin. 1515; Colmar, Musée d'Unterlinden)
   Painted by Matthias Grünewald for the chapel of the commandery of the Hospital Order of St. Anthony in Isenheim, the Isenheim Altarpiece includes in its closed state a Crucifixion, with Sts. Anthony and Sebastian in the outer wings and the Lamentation on the predella. In its first opened position, it depicts the Annunciation, Angel Concert and Nativity, and Resurrection. In the second opened position, the altarpiece presents the figures of Sts. Athanasius, Anthony, and Jerome (carved by Nicholas von Hagenau) flanked by panels of the Temptation of St. Anthony and the Meeting of Sts. Paul and Anthony in the Desert. As a work seen daily by patients cared for at the commandery, many of whom were treated for the new disease of syphilis, Sts. Anthony and Sebastian were included for their association with illness and plague. St. Anthony, of course, was also the patron saint of the order, hence the two scenes from his life flanking the carved standing saints. In the Crucifixion, Christ is covered with skin lesions so that the intended viewers could parallel their suffering to that of the Savior. The agony experienced by Mary Magdalen at the foot of the cross adds to the poignancy of the scene. When the altarpiece was opened to reveal the Annunciation, Angel Concert and Nativity, and Resurrection to patients, the sense of misery and suffering was replaced by a sense of hope. The message provided was that the Savior came into the world to bring the rewards of an after-life for the suffering experienced here on Earth.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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  • Isenheim Altarpiece — The Isenheim Altarpiece is an altarpiece painted by the German artist Matthias Grünewald between 1512 and 1516. It is on display at the Unterlinden Museum at Colmar, Alsace, now in France.By far his greatest, as well as his largest work, it was… …   Wikipedia

  • Isenheim Altarpiece — /ee zeuhn huym / an altarpiece (1510? 15?) painted by Matthias Grünewald. * * * …   Universalium

  • Isenheim Altarpiece — /ee zeuhn huym / an altarpiece (1510? 15?) painted by Matthias Grünewald …   Useful english dictionary

  • altarpiece — /awl teuhr pees /, n. a painted or carved screen behind or above the altar or communion table in Christian churches; reredos. [1635 45; ALTAR + PIECE] * * * Painting, relief, sculpture, screen, or decorated wall standing on or behind an altar in… …   Universalium

  • Altarpiece — An altarpiece is a picture or relief representing a religious subject and suspended in a frame behind the altar of a church. The altarpiece is often made up of two or more separate panels created using a technique known as panel painting. It is… …   Wikipedia

  • Altarpiece —    A painted or sculpted panel that either stands on the altar of a church or hangs above it, its primary function being to serve as visual focus during meditation or prayer. Altarpieces created in Italy during the 14th and 15th centuries often… …   Dictionary of Renaissance art

  • Retablo de Isenheim — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda La crucifixión (Tabla central del Retablo de Isenheim) Matthias Grünewald , 1512 1516 …   Wikipedia Español

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  • Matthias Grünewald — Second state of the Isenheim Altarpiece, Unterlinden Museum Matthias Grünewald or Mathis (as first name), Gothart or Neithardt (as surname), (c. 1470 – August 31, 1528), was a German Renaissance painter of religious works, who ignored Renaissance …   Wikipedia

  • Grünewald, Matthias — orig. Mathis Gothardt Neithardt or Mathis Gothart Nithart born с 1480, Würzburg, bishopric of Würzburg died August 1528, Halle, archbishopric of Magdeburg German painter. Details of his early life are vague. By с 1509 he was court painter to the… …   Universalium

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