From Library Journal
Here is a convincing new iconographic reading of Mathias Grunewald's masterpiece, "The Isenheim Altarpiece," commissioned for the Antonite monastery near Colmar, Germany, before 1510. Mellinkoff identifies Satan amid the angels in the nativity scene and deciphers the meaning of other enigmatic details--the chamber pot, the belted bed, the oil cruet--through comparison with late medieval written sources and art works. As she demonstrates, these many details fit into a complex program dramatizing Christian salvation. An essay in book form, the brief text is abundantly illustrated with handsome color and black-and-white reproductions of the multi-part altar and related works. For specialized collections; this study launches a series devoted to examining individual works of art.- Annette Melville, Research Libraries Group, Mountain View, Cal.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Inside Flap
"Dr. Mellinkoff's work is a small jewel. The essay is riveting, the evidence convincingly mustered, the scholarship impeccable and wide-ranging, and her thesis is new and convincing."Lucy Freeman Sandler, New York University
"Ruth Mellinkoff's iconographic discoveries afford us valuable fresh insight into the significance of a well-known monument. Her identification of the angel in the temple as the figure of Satan is wholly convincing, and it significantly alters our appreciation of this important, yet enigmatic, work."Keith Moxey, University of Virginia