(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
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
in the third lecture, or in the entire