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Matthias Grünewald

Matthias Grünewald

  1975        31st August 1528
   •   Renaissance   •   Wikipedia: Matthias Grünewald
90 Discovered works of art  •  ID: #3896
Matthias Grünewald is one of the artists whose life and career is largely unknown. Only after his death he attained appropriate fame. He was probably born in Würzburg around the year 1480. As a teacher and inspiration are Albrecht Dürer and Hans Fyoll, whose journeyman he should even have been. Grünewald's first surviving works were created from the year 1504. He apparently burned only biblical or Christian motifs on canvases. Like many of his contemporaries, he worked on behalf of various employers; so for example for the Mainz archbishops Jakob von Liebenstein and Ulrich von Gemmingen. He was not only rewarded as a painter. It has been handed down that Matthias Grünewald should have been just as talented and in demand as a well builder.

He became known to posterity above all through his triptych, the Isenheim Altarpiece. Completed in 1516, to this day it leaves the viewer astonished at the realistic and, above all, apocryphal portrayal of different stations of the passion of Jesus Christ, and thus offers a wide range of interpretation. Particularly noteworthy is Grünewald's haptic matching of light and dark contrasts. This ensures above all that the level of detail of this work is able to demonstrate a depth that was almost unequaled for the time.

Only about a dozen of his paintings and some drawings have been preserved. Also left Grünewald no theoretical essays or other records. But even this fragmentary work reveals that he was one of the great masters of his craft, who would probably hardly have earned the fame of his famous contemporaries Albrecht Dürer and Lucas Cranach the Elder during his lifetime. At the end of his life Grünewald even seemed to have said goodbye to painting. It is speculated that in the end he has dedicated himself to soap making. On August 31, 1528, he finally died in Halle an der Saale. © Meisterdrucke

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