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Matthias Grunewald (Art & Design) Hardcover – May, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

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.

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Product Details

  • Series: Art & Design
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Prestel Publishing (May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3791325000
  • ISBN-13: 978-3791325002
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 9.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,082,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Possibly 26 paintings and 37 drawings by MATTHIAS GRUNEWALD made safe passage. Others didn't. In 1789 revolutionary mobs went after his late Gothic Isenheim altarpiece. An altarpiece panel went missing from a Frankfurt museum 36 years after.
Grunewald became unknown in art history. But he came back, thanks to Heinrich Alfred Schmid in 1911 and Walter Karl Zulch in 1938. In fact, records in Aschaffenburg and Seligenstadt, plus studies by Alfred Schadler and Bernhard Saran, have left us with 4 Masters Mathis to choose from!
So was the artist Master Mathis, carver in Seligenstadt? Or was he Master Mathis of Aschaffenburg, also hydraulic engineer of the Klopp castle artesian well in Bingen? Or was he Master Mathis of Grun, carver, painter or sculptor in Frankfurt? Or was he Master Mathis, architectural painter and gilder in Aschaffenburg?
Even with the author's answer, we've no record of Grunewald's journeymanship, apprenticeship, or pre-mastership. How did Grunewald paint the first European realistic total solar eclipse, in the Mainz small crucifixion? The only eclipse during his lifetime was on October 1, 1502. It was seen only in the Brandenburg marches, Lusatia, Mecklenburg, Silesia and southern Poland.
And how did he come up with his tempera medium? It used little oil, for boldly spreading colors and subtle changes. That was only done by the colorist Master of Wittingau, Bohemia.
Finally, his art had Bohemian, French, Italian and Netherlandish touches. Did the lack of colored center and the modulated local color in The mocking of Christ mean that he studied with Hans Holbein the Elder, the great colorist of Augsburg? Why was Judas standing alone, Leonardo da Vinci-style, in The last supper?
Why was the Isenheim Calvary painted, da Vinci-like, in brightest light?
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By J.R.R.Tolkien on July 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I rated this already! An enormous, hideously expensive price for the relatively small number of plates, but Grunewald had a rather small oeuvre. It was in mint condition. The plates were well printed.
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