Friday, May 02, 2014

The Demon in the Altarpiece, as well as the Details

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This is a stunner.  I was reading last night and took a break.  I scanned some great art pieces on the internet and was struck by this section from Issenheim Artarpiece depicting the joy of angels at the Nativity. The altar piece is a polytych ( many panels) depicting the life of Christ.

One of the angelic troubadours stuck out like Sox-fan at Murphy Bleachers. So, looked up some commentary and found the - Foxy explained things to me.

Art historians believe he is the devil, the beautiful fallen angel. He is missing out on the action because, through his own actions, he has been cut off from the glory of God forever, and doesn’t recognize Christ because he has taken human form. The comb on his head is a peacock’s comb, signifying pride. Why he is feathered is anyone’s guess, but representing the devil in this fashion was unprecedented. I’m also intrigued by his strange, spindly, bejeweled fingers at the bow and on the strings, which play the instrument at physiologically impossible angles. He was the most beautiful of angels but now that he is corrupted he has turned a sickly shade of green exactly that of gangrene. He also seems to be developing a wattle.

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That is the devil in the details.  You gotta love people who can convey our better angels and include the screw-ups.  That is some chord Old Nick is hitting.

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