The Isenheim Altar

Suffering and Salvation in the Art of Grünewald

Gottfried Richter

Out of print

Quick Look

A study of Grünewald's Renaissance masterpiece, explaining the spiritual implications of the different panels of the alterpiece.

200 x 150 mm
Floris Books
Art & Literature
colour illustrations
64 pages
Publication date:
01 Apr 1998


Grünewald is generally regarded as the greatest painter of the German Renaissance, and his masterpiece, "The Isenheim Altar" in Colmar, as one of the great works of western art. Painted for the Order of Saint Anthony -- a monastic fraternity that cared for the sick and suffering humanity of the time -- Richter explains how the various panels of the altarpiece, and in particular the great central panels of Christ's Crucifixion and Resurrection, need to be seen as a unity that provoked in the observer a profound experience of the meaning of earthly suffering and the power of healing transformation.

In an age when illness and disease were still seen as a result of 'the sickness of sin' that had befallen humanity, such a picture has a spiritual therapeutic effect on those exposed to it and gave them an inner strength to endure and triumph over their often painful and difficult destinies.

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