Darkness Covered the Earth
Art for this post on Darkness covered the Earth (Good Friday) – The Crucifixion: Crucifixion detail of Issenheim Altarpiece, Matthias Grünewald (c.1470-1528), 1506 to 1515 or perhaps 1512 to 1516, PD-US author’s term of life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons. This painting is found in the chapel of the hospital infirmary of St. Anthony’s Monastery in Issenheim, in the Alsace region of France. At one time, this monastery was a hospital for victims of the bubonic plague, believed, by some, to be the infamous “Black Death”. Because Grünewald’s painting looks like someone who had suffered from the plague, this painting has also been associated with the quote from Isaiah 53:4:
“Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, While we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted.”
The Issenheim Altarpiece is Matthias Grünewald’s largest work and is considered to be his artistic masterpiece. It contains details in it which have come from details given by St. Bridget of Sweden, who is famous for the prayers she composed on the Passion and Death of Our Lord after her visions. She founded the religious community of the Brigittines.