Beaune Altarpiece  

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last judgement

The Last Judgment is a polyptych painted c. 1445–1450 by Rogier van der Weyden. The medium is oil on oak panel, though some panels have been transferred to canvas. The overall dimensions of the work are 215 x 560 cm. It is in the collection of the Musée de l'Hôtel-Dieu, Beaune in France.

At the top is Jesus Christ. A sword comes out of his mouth and so does a palm branch. At the center, the Archangel Michael weighs the souls. Some souls enter Paradise; the other souls, Hell. Most souls come out of the graves which are depicted as holes.

Paradise is depicted as a gate to a castle with a huge light shining out of it. The people walk calmly towards it and clasp their hands in prayer, while an Angel stands by the gate. Hell is depicted as a gloomy fiery place, and the people heading towards it are screaming and crying.

At either side of Saint Michael are important people and other saints, including the Virgin Mary and the Pope and the disciples. There is also the owner of the hospital in Beaune (where the painting is situated). On the back row on the left is the artist himself.

See also

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