On the pilgrimage route, the Issenheim altarpiece is often presented as an example of artistic mastery in the service of the christian church’s religious teaching. However, according to the author this altarpiece presents “details” with double reading also suggesting an esoteric dimension. The proposed approach is absolutely innovative, sometimes confusing, but always consistent. With simple words, the author questions, proposes and fnairereveally reveals that this altarpiece is also an alchemical ordinance to the point of considering it more as a spiritual work than a religious one. The teaching painted on this altarpiece would show another image of Jesus and his Christic mission, Mary – Madeleine would be presented as the apostle of the apostles; Mary as an Insider of exceptional purity more than virgin. The alchemist’s gaze allows us to discover the teaching of the moving altarpiece of tolerance and topicality, in accordance with the subatomic reality and with the testimonies of those who lived “The Beyond” at their clinical death. This work is a meeting between Art and The Spiritual, between the Spiritual and the Quantum : the altarpiece is considered here as a springboard of Transmutation.
Excerpts from the book
p. 24 :
In other words, the altarpiece that some consider to be a religiously dogmatic work seems to echo the Church of the East here by considering Mary Magdalene as the preferred apostle of Jesus. According to the Scriptures, it was first to her that the resurrected Jesus spontaneously presented himself and on the altarpiece it is at his feet that the therapeutic vase is placed. In other words, the vase of the altarpiece erases the defamation of the woman: Mary Magdalene is an exceptional Initiate, which makes Jesus a particularly awake prophet who places the woman in the foreground whereas in those days the woman was considered a minor for life.
p. 33 :
Given these considerations, Christ between the positive/negative polarities, necessarily represents the neutral part of the materia : between Mercury – St- Sebastian and Sulfur – St- Anthony, Christ is… alchemist’s salt! The salt of the materia is the neutron of the atom which has the function of “glue” the subatomic components: “salt” in french is “sel”, same phoneme of “scelle” which means “to glue”… Christ is therefore identified by the neutral part of the atom which under-means that the christian message is intended to establish peace among men, to connect them to each other despite the individualities of each. Salt is eternal, it is the part of matter that cannot be eliminated. Salt also allows the preservation of food : salt represents our infinity which is linked to the Christian message since by the Passion is announced to Humanity that death is only the passage to the After – Life. Salt is the neutral part of matter like the neutron free of electrical charge, which is related to Christ who does not judge, but welcomes anyone whatever he may have done.
p. 43 :
Grünewald presents an ethereal concert since they are musical spirits, in a balanced contrast of dark and luminous forces within the same harmonic composition… being musical! Religions teach a dichotomous view of life by defending the idea that there is Good on one side and Evil on the other; on the one hand the believers and on the other the infidels. On the contrary, the altarpiece invites us to recognize Evil and live with it, because Evil is not bad, but indispensable to make the Universe work! Knowing evil allows you to discernment: the angels above Jesus indicate that He has finally chosen to serve the Good. Unlike any religion that defends its truth in spite of other religions, spirituality invites us to find common values between all individuals- believers or not – because the purpose of our life is to be at the Unison, be aware of its Unique being connected to the Universe!
Which are the altarpiece “details” which would indicate an alchemical dimension ?
My alchemical vision of the Issenheim altarpiece begun with this lamb : its blood is falling in a golden cup which is an evident allusion to the Holy Graal, main symbol of the Templars, to a famous britan pagan myth, painted at the Christ feets, which is also an alchemical indication…
The alchemist’s purpose is to study the materia, so that to be able to purify it, and finally to purify himself. The philosophical stone is the name given to the metal which has been purified, which means to get a metal with a rectilinear structure, and so translucent to be able to conduct the light : so is the Grünewald’s carafe, isn’t it ?
A little male angel on the right of Christ : could it be an allegory of the materia ?
A crucifixion with an horizontal curved beam…never made before, neither producer later…an unique detail which is an incredible indication that the Grünewald crucifixion, more than a crucifixion, could be an alchemical allegory !
An aura without using gold : the best way to represent the ether ?