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Sunday, May 22, 2011

France/Spain 2011 - Day 2, Part 3 - Colmar: Unterlinden Museum

"Competence, like truth, beauty and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder." - Laurence J. Peter

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France/Spain 2011
Day 2 - 18th March - Colmar: Unterlinden Museum
(Part 3)

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Martin Schongauer. Orlier Altarpiece: The Annunciation. 1470-5

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Attributed to Workshop of Veit Wagner. Bergheim Altarpiece. About 1515.

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Chapel with Issenheim Altar

Interesting fact: the Unterlinden Museum is the second most visited provincial fine arts museum in France. I wonder what the top one is.

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Funerary Slab of a Knight. Ulrich von Hus, lord of Issenheim.

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Issenheim Altar: the arms are elongated for *word I can't read in my notes*
The audioguide said that it is unusual to have John the Baptist in a crucifixion scene
At the side you see St Sebastien and St Anthony alive but on pedastels like in a church - as if they're beatified. The former is martyred with a crown *something* (you can see metal rods in his body), while the latter is being attacked by a she-devil.

Sick people were taken to meditate in front of the Crucifixion - to reduce their suffering. Gah.

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"The commandery of the Antonines of Issenheim"

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"The altarpiece of Issenheim: origin and function"

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The Annunciation here is the most traditional, medieval, scene. The fluttering of the angel's robe is seen in the Baroque style. Mary is reading Isaiah, and the green curtain represents the Old Testament and the red the New.
On the left you see the Resurrection and it's most funky - there's a hippie air to the scene.

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The Virgin is playing with the baby. The swaddle cloth foreshadows the loincloth of the Crucifixion. The daily items strewn around represent humanity. Lucifer is here (?!) and God the Father is on top.

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What the ensemble would've looked like originally

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Temptation of St Anthony. His thoughts on punishment are on the bottom right of the left panel: "Where were you Jesus? You didn't heal my wounds"
On the bottom left a guy is dying of ergotism as he is a connoisseur of something related to it (rye, perhaps - I missed it). He also has symptoms of syphillis.
On the right St Anthony and St Paul are meeting. The former thinks he's the only hermit in the desert.

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St Anthony with 2 donors at his feet
You also see St Augustine and St Jerome
Antonine monks valued pigs for cheap food, so you also see them here

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Martin Schongauer and gang. ~1480. Deposition and Entombment
At the bottom right he is telling Mary Magdalene: "Do not touch me". Empty space is at the centre of the composition.

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How everything would've looked together

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Gang of Martin Schongauer: Mystical Chase x2, Adoration of the Magi, Presentation at the Temple
The dogs in the first Mystical Chase panel represent Justice, Peace and Truth. They're forcing the unicorn to take refuge at Mary's breast.

Besides Medieval art, the museum also had other things. The Merovingian and earlier material was nothing special.

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Funerary Stele, 2nd c. AD

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Funerary Stele, 3rd c. AD

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Bronze Age burial

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Etruscan Ceramics: Urn for ashes
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