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One of the most famous and significant works of Hans Memling is a triptych for the monastery church called “The Last Judgment”. The approximate time of its creation is from the 1460s to the 1470s. The customer was one secured bank representative in Bruges.
The painting is composed of a large central part and narrower wings on either side of it. Biblical scenes with oil paints are made on oak planks.
The Flemish painter expressed his understanding of the formidable Apocalypse in the picture. The main and central figure in the compositional plan is Christ sitting on a rainbow, which denotes the connection of man and God. In general, the canvas is replete with similar symbols. For example, the sword and the branch of a lily at the head of Jesus carry a deeper meaning: on the one hand, denoting mercy, on the other - a fair trial.
The chief judge is surrounded by his "retinue" - the apostles, the Baptist and mother Mary. Angels are holding the signs of the Passion of Christ. The background behind these figures burns with fire in the black sky.
In the lower part of the central canvas divides the sheet into two parts, Archangel Michael, weighing the souls of righteous and sinful people. Empty graves are visible on earth, from which the dead rise to participate in the Apocalypse.
The right wing of the triptych shows a hell burning with flame, with black figures of demonic creatures and naked human figures intertwined in a heap. The left picture, however, carries the opposite content - here the gates of paradise await the righteous; calm, peaceful men and women ascend the crystal stairs.
What is the feature of Memling's Last Judgment? A work of tremendous volume was carried out, in which the author showed himself as a brilliant portrait painter, depicting the genuine emotions of people, he combined the multi-story picture with bright colors.
Raphael Holy Family