From Library Journal
Among the stellar artists of the German Renaissance, none surpasses the inadequately esteemed painter Matthias Grvnewald (d. 1528). Known principally for his hauntingly intense Isenheim altarpiece, he is so poorly documented that even his name is apparently incorrect. Ziermann, a former newspaper editor and correspondent, not only synthesizes the relatively little that is known about the artist but also provides a handsomely illustrated compendium of the modest oeuvre of surviving paintings and drawings. Though the text includes effective analyses of the works, it is marred by scholarly disputations better relegated to footnotes. Equally disconcerting are occasional irrelevant excursuses, awkward biblical citations, editorial gaffes, and irksomely reiterated iconographic errors. Perplexing, too, is the book's failure to go beyond the formal and iconographic details of the Isenheim altarpiece to assay its functional and iconological significance in the context of its time and place. While this is not the ideal introduction, the lack of anything better in English makes this volume a recommended acquisition. Robert Cahn, Fashion Inst. of Technology, New York
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Publisher
Generally regarded as the greatest painter of the German Reniassance and certainly its greatest colorist, Grunewald produced paintings of extraordinary beauty and expressive force. A man of profound religious beliefs, his vision transcended the visible world and led him to paint some of the most moving and memorable images of Christ's Passion in Western art. The Isenheimer Altarpiece, which is now housed in the Musee d'Unterlinden in Colmar, France, is widely held to be the single most important work of the German Renaissance.