A must-see activity in Colmar is a visit to the Musée d'Unterlinden. The Unterlinden museum, located in an old Dominican convent, is home to a remarkable work of art called the Issenheim Altarpiece.
Matthias Grünewald was born somewhere in the range of 1470 to 1480, and died in 1528. Little is known about this artist, other than the fact that he created an incredible masterpiece called le Retable d’Issenheim, [the Issenheim Altarpiece].
Matthias Grünewald d'Aschaffembourg was commissioned to create an altar for a church in Issenheim, a small town south of Colmar. The church belonged to an order of monks dedicated to Saint Anthony, and pilgrims visited their church to pray to this saint. Many of the pilgrims suffered from “Saint Anthony’s Fire” [ergotism], an extremely unpleasant skin disease caused by a strep infection. The disease causes fever, horrible skin eruptions, and often death. Grünewald’s paintings include several scenes of events in the life of Saint Anthony, as well as an image of someone suffering from this terrible disease.
Grünewald’s painted panels (1512-1516) are attached to a central segment with sculptures by Nicolas de Haguenau (circa 1500). Depending on the church calendar, various panels could be opened or closed to expose different paintings. There is an annunciation, a crucifixion, resurrection, the temptation of Saint Anthony, the death of Saint Sebastien.
The paintings of Grünewald are fantastic, literally and figuratively. We spent hours studying this work. Dive in; appreciate the powerful details and the incredible whole. Imagine the mind of the man that created this incredible imagery.
Another glimpse of the incredible detail in Grünewald's Altarpiece in the Musée d'Unterlinden. This image is from the Resurrection panel.
We spent hours in the museum; it was not at all crowded, so we could savor the wonders of this masterpiece.
The Unterlinden Museum founded in 1232, was once a Dominican Monastery. Now contains Rhenish sculptures and paintings from the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance and some contemporary art. Best known work of art is the Issenheim Altarpiece painted by Matthias Grunewald. A definite 'must see'. Believe it or not, this is one of the most visited art museums in the world.
The photo of the centuries old Cloisters building was taken from the top floor of the museum main building. Imagine how nice the building and courtyard would have been centuries ago.
The first exhibit rooms contained religious paintings, all very attractive.
We were allowed to take photos.
Birthplace of sculptor Auguste Bartholdi crator of the Statue of Liberty .A large collection of sculptures,drawings and paintings are in the museum included personal souvenirs of the sculptor
a fabulous museum with exposures of various time periods - I enjoyed the locks and keys there the most - of course!
I will try to find a picture of these exposures soon!