Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Hans Memling- The Last Judgment
An incredible piece of art and also maddeningly complex, I've always been strongly drawn to Memling's Last Judgment. There is just something about the work that I have always found magnetic, visceral. I've long thought that this piece showed an incredibly deep understanding of pictorial rhythm through the composition in its contrast of the calm upward climb of the righteous counterbalanced by the flailing struggling bodies of the Damned. The central panel features Christ surrounded by his Twelve apostles and Mary and John the Baptist. Archangel Michael stands on earth below Christ using the crosier in his left hand to prick the flesh of the soul that is damned and while in his other hand he holds the scales to weigh their fate. The work is extremely complex and I have included detail panels so it can be better appreciated.