Interesting piece on altar art, both sides: triptychon and diptychon
Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, a six week season of self-denial, repentance, and fasting observed among certain traditional-minded Christian denominations. Although I myself have no particularly ascetic intentions for Lent, it seems appropriate to mark the occasion with two vivid grisaille paintings by the great fifteenth century Flemish master Hieronymus Bosch, whose bizarre religious visions are among the strangest and most compelling works of painting (despite decades of deliberate strangeness by 20th and 21st century artists) .
The term ”grisaille” describes a completely monochromatic painting in which all colors have been removed and the values are all rendered in countless shades of black, white, and (especially) gray. The grisaille technique was sometimes used for underpainting by the old masters who would then add color later. It was…
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