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Museum of Chora :: The Last Judgement scene

The Last Judgement scene

After the magnificent Anastasias frescoes in the apse, the last judgement scene makes up one of the most crowded scenes of Byzantine art. Just at the middle of the panel, the figure of Jesus is found, sitting on a throne, and separated from the other figures if by a halo surrounding him. Mary , on the left, and John the Baptist on the right are seen in a pause of asking Christ for intercession for humanity. On both sides, we see the twelve apostles seated on benches, and arch angels and group of angels in the background. Above these, just in the middle of the vault (flying buttress) a snail carried by an angel is seen, the snail representing the Paradise. this is the first time in Byzantine art that a snail representing the Paradise is being depicted. This figure is made up of a scroll of rolls carried by the flying angel, the rolls opening up, being tossed about, twisted and folded. Underneath the halo surrounding Jesus, stands an unoccupied throne and Adam and Eve kneeling down in reverence. Just below this, the scene depicting the discussion by the angels the sins of the souls. On the right side of the vault, we see figures of the sinners tied up to each other and being led to Hell's fire, escorted by Satan, as well as figures of sinners burned in Hell's fire. They are surrounded by souls represented as children. In the other sections of the vault, "Chrosus of the Chosen surrounded by clouds, are making headway towards the middle, to the Last Judgement. Underneath the pendant, in which we see the rich man burning in the flames of Hell's fire, we see four panels in which nude figures are depicted as groups of big crowds. At the left, the semi-nude figure of the "good thief" is supervising the entrace into Heaven (paradise) of the chosen, In paradise, we see the partly damaged figure of the Virgin among the trees and angels. Here, opposite the pendant the fresco depicting Abraham and Lazarus the begger on his lap comes into view. The two west pendants of the vault are very much damaged. The one on the left depicts the rendering of the dead by the sea and the earth, while two angels blow their horns; and the one on the right shows an angel beside a soul in the form of a child.


Above text and pictures are from the book titled "Chora Byzantium's Shining Piece of Art".

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