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Grünewald, Matthias (Matthis Gothart) [German, 1500-1530]


[ 16th Century Artists ]
portrait

Matthias Grünewald (born c. 1480, Würzburg, bishopric of Würzburg — died August 1528, Halle, archbishopric of Magdeburg), was a German painter. He was named Mathis Gothardt Neithardt or Mathis Gothart Nithart originally.

Details of his early life are vague. By c. 1509 he was court painter to the archbishop of Mainz and had established a successful career, concentrating on religious themes. Around 1511 he was commissioned to add two wings to the Assumption of the Virgin altarpiece recently completed by Albrecht Dürer. In 1515 he completed his most important commission, the wings of the Isenheim Altarpiece in the Antonite monastery in southern Alsace (now in the museum in Colmar, Fr.). Considered his masterpiece, it features distorted figures, extreme emotional intensity, brooding color, and draperies that expand and contract in accordion pleats, a hallmark of his style. About 10 paintings and 35 drawings survive. He had no known pupils and, unlike his contemporaries, did not produce woodcuts or engravings, but his painterly achievement remains one of the most striking in the history of northern European art.

The image accompanying this article is Grünewald's, John the Baptist, long thought to be a self-portrait. It is a chalk/charcoal rendering on paper, 20.6 x 15.2 cm, and completed sometime between 1512 and 1514.

From October of 1916 through January of 1917, Rudolf Steiner gave a series of nine lectures known as the Art Course. These lectures were given the title of: The History of Art. Click here to discover what Steiner said about Grünewald in the third lecture, or in the entire lecture series.

RS Archive pages at Powell's Books

  Grünewald, Matthias (Matthis Gothart) [German, 1500-1530]

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Title: Demons
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Title: The Small Crucifixion
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Title: Half length portrait of a man with a pinfeather looking up
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Title: Isenheim Altarpiece - Center Panel
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Title: The Isenheim Altar
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Title: Detail: Isenheim Altarpiece - Center Panel
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Title: Detail: John the Baptist
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Title: The Temptations of Saint Anthony, Isenheim Altarpiece
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Title: Visit of Saint Anthony to Saint Paul the Hermit - Isenheim Altarpiece
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Title: Isenheim Altarpiece
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Title: Isenheim Altarpiece
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Title: Detail: Isenheim Altarpiece
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Title: Resurrection
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