THE BIRTH OF SACRIFICE: ICONOGRAPHIC METAPHORS FOR SPIRITUAL REBIRTH IN MASTER MATTHIAS’ ISENHEIM ALTARPIECE
Anderson Tuft, Katherine
Master of Arts Thesis, Brigham Young University (December 2006)
While little is known concerning the events surrounding the commission of the Isenheim Altarpiece or of the artist known to us as Master Matthias Grünewald, much can be ascertained about the message of the Altarpiece through careful study of the socio- historical-religious context from which the work was commissioned and iconographic analysis of the images portrayed by Master Matthias. This thesis explores iconographic metaphors for birth and sacrifice, metaphors which work to create a theological dialogue about Christian redemption within the nine painted panels and the underlying sculpture that makes up the Isenheim Altarpiece.