The Temptation of St. Anthony

These images are taken from just one panel of the twelve panel’s that make up the magnificent The Isenheim Altarpiece the masterpiece for which German Artist Grünewald is most famous for.

The iconography of the altarpiece has several unusual elements, several derived from closely following the accounts left by Saint Bridget of Sweden of her mystical visions. These had long had a significant influence on art, especially on depictions of the Nativity of Christ, a scene not included here. The crucifixion includes Saint John the Baptist, long dead by Gospel chronology.

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Matthias Grünewald was an important German Renaissance painter of religious works, who ignored Renaissance classicism to continue the expressive and intense style of late medieval Central European art into the 16th century. Only ten paintings (several consisting of many panels) and thirty-five drawings survive, all religious, although many others were lost at sea in the Baltic on their way to Sweden as war booty. His reputation was obscured until the late nineteenth century, and many of his paintings were attributed to Albrecht Dürer, who is now seen as his stylistic antithesis. His largest and most famous work is the Isenheim Altarpiece in Colmar, Alsace (now in France).