Altarpiece for the Collegiate Church of Saint Martin

Musée Unterlinden

Place Unterlinden
68000 COLMAR

+33(0)3 89 20 15 50

The Musée Unterlinden is closed

In accordance with directives issued by the French government , the muesum closed its doors from the 14th March 2020 for a unspecified duration. Thank you for your comprehension.



These painted wooden panels are part of the altarpiece commissioned for the high altar of the Collegiate Church of Saint Martin in Colmar. Exceptionally, the contract for the commission of this altarpiece has survived until the present day, which means that this work may be attributed with absolute certainty. Without a doubt, therefore, it was Kaspar Isenmann whose services the canons of the church sought out in 1462. The date of completion, 1465, is shown on the back of one of the panels. The altarpiece remained in the collegiate church until 1720, when all of the individual panels were separated from the work and dispersed, before its presentation at the Musée Unterlinden at its opening in 1853. The paintings also reveal remnants of Gothic tracery, undoubtedly in gilded wood, used to frame the scenes. In the absence of these elements, it would be difficult to restore the altarpiece to its original appearance, all the more so as it certainly included multiple wings. On the theme of the Passion of Christ, the style of Isenmann’s altarpiece is representative of a period when Flemish ideas were being assimilated by German painters. This artist can be considered as a direct predecessor of Schongauer.

Dans l’attente de la fin des travaux au Musée Unterlinden, cette œuvre n’est actuellement pas exposée.

  • Référence Oil on wood (pine)
  • Artiste Gaspard Isenmann (active around 1430, died between 1484 and 1490)
  • Année 1465
  • Dimensions H. 110 cm ; l. 74 cm (other panels : H. 107 cm ; l. 155 cm and H. 187 cm ; l. 183 cm)
  • Statut Revolutionary entry