Northern Cross Cultural Assignment 5
22nd November 2014
1- What is the significance of the Isenheim Altarpiece. Describe the exagerrated elements in this piece. What feeling do you experience when looking at the Altarpiece?
The Isenheim Altarpiece "was designed to provide solace to the victims of disease and especially plague at the Hospital of Saint Anthony in Isenheim, near Colmar, France", but like many other of Grunewald's works, it is unclear if he or his pieces are distinctly Protestant or Catholic. This is significant because without siding with one division of Christianity, Grunewald still managed to remind its beholders of their kinship with the suffering Jesus. The exaggerated elements in this piece are focused on Jesus-his body is lengthened to stress the his weight as he hangs from the cross. This same element of stress is seen in the defined details of his bodily structure such as his veins, his ribcage, his dangling feet, and heavily resting head which displays the crown of thorns along with blood clotting/splatter to convey the torture Jesus endured.
When looking at Altarpiece, I experience feelings of pity for the man, Jesus, who appears to be suffering deeply both physically, and very likely, emotionally as well as I imagine a crucifixion is extremely unbearable.
2-How does the art of Bruegel differ from his Northern contemporaries like Grunewald and Bosch? (fig.19.14 and Fig. 19.15)
Like his Northern contemporaries, Bruegel had traveled to Italy and studied Classical culture, but his style remained independent of Italian influence. Bruegel's works revolved around themes of involving human folly. In fact, some of Bruegel's best works were "inspired by biblical parables or local proverbs, popular expressions of universal truths concerning human behavior." Some of his genre paintings were actually monumental, as opposed to small-scale illustrations, and the...