The Final Judgment to 1400

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The Final Judgment to 1400

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The Final Judgment to 1400

  1. 1. The Final Judgement to 1400: Blessed or Damned? Sam Buchanan
  2. 2. Origins of Judgment <ul><li>Christian Scriptural References </li></ul><ul><li>2 Corinthians 5:10 </li></ul><ul><li>For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. </li></ul><ul><li>2 Peter 3:7 </li></ul><ul><li>But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Developement <ul><li>As exegesis of the Bible’s meanings became a popular topic of study, a clearly developed idea that Christ would return to pass judgment on Man’s sins surfaced as a mainstream Christian belief. </li></ul><ul><li>With the rise of Christian art came Icons that often depicted scenes or stories taken from scripture. The Day of Judgment was one such scene. </li></ul><ul><li>From these early depictions onward, the artistic scene of the Last Judgment served as a crucial means for explaining a story to a culture that was primarily illiterate. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Romanesque Judgment <ul><li>While there had been artistic renderings of the Final Judgment previous to Romanesque architecture with Icons and various other Christian art, Romanesque Cathedrals give artists and theologians a dedicated means for depicting scenes like the Last Judgment. </li></ul><ul><li>These works would have been painted, and would have likely had bejeweled eyes as well. </li></ul>Above: West Portal at Autun
  5. 5. Jesus as Condemner <ul><li>During the Romanesque period, Jesus was commonly depicted as wrathful or condemning, serving to inspire fear in the illiterate masses. </li></ul><ul><li>This judging Jesus was most often placed in the tympanum over the portal of the church and was sculpted in the type of stone that was most readily available. Very often, Jesus was depicted dispensing judgment from his throne, usually within a mandorla. Those passing into the Church often had to confront a very explicit portrayal of the punishment awaiting those who sinned. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Cathedrals Depicting The Last Judgment <ul><li>A short list of the most important Romanesque Cathedrals depicting the Last Judgment includes but is not limited to: </li></ul><ul><li>Sainte Foy at Conques (France) </li></ul><ul><li>Autun Cathedral (France) </li></ul><ul><li>Vezelay Abbey (France) </li></ul><ul><li>Beaulieu Abbey (England) </li></ul><ul><li>Bourges Cathedral (France) </li></ul><ul><li>Saint-Pierre Abbey at Moissac (France) </li></ul>Above: Tympanum at Sainte-Pierre in Beaulieu
  7. 7. Autun: The Cathedral of Saint-Lazare <ul><li>The Cathedral of Saint Lazarus at Autun is debatably one of the first Western renderings of the Final Judgment and perhaps the most famous of these tympanums. </li></ul><ul><li>Sculpted and, oddly enough for the time period, signed by Giselbertus, it was completed around 1130, soon after the cathedral itself was built. </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Last Judgment Tympanum at Autun
  9. 9. The Weighing of Souls
  10. 10. The Weighing of Souls <ul><li>This tympanum shows excellent sculpting as well as a remarkably detailed account of the Last Judgment. It shows the Last Judgment as a day to be feared, showing some of the most explicit scenes of hell in Romanesque architecture. </li></ul><ul><li>With imagery derived from Byzantine Iconography, Giselbertus depicts the Archangel Michael weighing Souls, with demons pulling down at the scales in an attempt to tip the balance towards hell. Beneath one can see the suffering denizens of hell. One suffering sinner’s head is even caught in the grips of a demon’s feet, his face in obvious terror and pain. These images filled the head of entering pilgrims and clergy alike as sin literally loomed over their heads. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Sainte-Foy at Conques <ul><li>The Church of Sainte-Foy also features one of the more definitive Last Judgment tympanums above it’s west portal. </li></ul><ul><li>This Romanesque sculpture features the same condemning Jesus in Majesty found in works like the tympanum at Autun, gesturing downward towards the hellish scenes on his left. However, the tympanum at Conques features an even larger array of apocalyptic art than the tympanum at Autun as well as explanatory text laced throughout the scenes. This piece even contains a lot of the original paint that would have been on such works. </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Last Judgment at Sainte-Foy in Conques
  13. 13. Punishment as seen at Conques <ul><li>The Mouth of Hell (right side) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Punishment as seen at Conques <ul><li>Satan surrounded by sinners </li></ul>
  15. 15. Punishment as seen at Conques <ul><li>The two previous images are visual representations of the punishment that awaited those who were unrepentant. </li></ul><ul><li>Sinners can be seen being fed into the mouth of what appears to be the Leviathan or perhaps the Mouth of Hell. Sinners are also seen crowed around Satan, being tortured by the demons that inhabit hell. </li></ul><ul><li>With a punishment like these ahead of those who sinned, these images served as a powerful means for instilling fear in the medieval believer. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Damned to Blessed <ul><li>The rise of Gothic style architecture in the 12 th centure saw a gradual change in the nature of Last Judgment scenes. </li></ul><ul><li>While still being commonly used as the subject for tympanum across Europe, the tone of such Last Judgment pieces shifted away from a focus on monsters, demons, and vulgar punishments. One obvious example of such a shift is seen in the doors of the Notre Dame Cathedral at Chartres. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Notre Dame at Chartres <ul><li>While images like the Weighing of Souls still appear in this work, they are not quite as frightening. The appearance of demons and other fanciful and frighten creatures is greatly reduced, almost to the point of being nonexistant. </li></ul><ul><li>Instead of pointing downards towards hell, Jesus has his hands raised in a much less reproachful manner. </li></ul><ul><li>While the horrors of hell took up most of the tympanum in works like those at Autun and Conques, Angels and Apostles dominate most of the Tympanum space at Nortre Dame in Chartres. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Notre Dame At Chartres
  19. 19. The Last Judgment <ul><li>Despite displaying the same predicted evens of Christian theology, the nature and tone of Last Judgment pieces can vary greatly depending on the time period in which they were created. From damned to blessed, the medieval believer was constantly reminded of their future eternal life because of these tympanum art pieces. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Sources <ul><li>Camille, Michael. Gothic Art: Glorius Visions. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated, 1996. </li></ul><ul><li>Denny, Don. “The Last Judgment Tympanum at Autun: Its Sources and Meaning.” Speculum 57, no. 3 (Jul., 1982): 532-547. Medieval Acadamy of America. Database on-line. JSTOR: accessed November 19, 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>Kunstler, Gustav. Romanesque Art In Europe . Vienna: Anton Schroll and Co, 1968 </li></ul><ul><li>Geese, Uwe, and Laule, Ulrike. Romanesque . Berlin: Feirabend, 2002. </li></ul><ul><li>Timmers, J.J. M. A Handbook of Romanesque Art. Great Britain: Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd, 1969. </li></ul><ul><li>Toman, Rolf. Gothic: Architecture Sculpture Painting . Berlin, Konemann 2004. </li></ul><ul><li>Toman, Rolf. Romanesque . Berlin, Konemann, 1997. </li></ul>

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