Mr. Greg Bryda: The Exuding Wood of the Cross at Isenheim

160421 seminar brydaDate: 21 April 2016
Time: 4:00pm
Venue: Room 4.34 Run Run Shaw Tower

This talk brings to light the late-medieval devotional trope of the exuding wood of the cross, which became popular in fifteenth-century allegories and served as the theological basis for one of the most celebrated but misunderstood ensembles of Gothic Germany: the high altar of the Antonite church at Isenheim sculpted by Nikolaus Haguenauer and painted by Matthias Grünewald. Resins, turpentine, pitch, and other tree exudates formed the basis of medieval medicine and were widely available for physicians as well as artists, who employed their distillates as paint thinner. A thick, viscous bodily humor that was a critical emulsive vehicle for the treatment of skin wounds, resin was also exploited figuratively as a mirror for the sacramental blood Christ shed on the cross… (Please click on the image to read more)