I'm back on Off the Page today...writing about one of my favorite works of art. check it out. Leave me feedback. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
There is a painting that grounds my spirit every time I see it. I have bookmarked the image on all my devices. I have written about it, researched it, given lectures about the painting, but I have yet to put my finger on exactly why the Isenheim Altarpiece, an early Northern Renaissance image created by Mathias Grunewald, has the ability to move me. The artwork is currently displayed quietly in a museum in Colmar, France. Sometimes, it is studied in silent Art History classrooms, distilled with soft light. I wonder if these spaces are too controlled and quiet? When I look at the artwork, and the emotional agility it provides, I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to scream? I have to ask myself why I so easily put on a shelf my own emotions—try to contain them in a quiet space? Why do I place such a high value on being comfortable—when I am really created to learn to suffer well? Let me show you a painting that puts a full frontal on rich, deep, emotion. That teaches me to be accessible to dark and vast spaces. Paintings like the one Grunewald made provide a vehicle that understand, and make space for, visceral feelings that I tend to bury until I can no longer bottle them up.
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