Nicolás Delli, The Last Judgment

Circa 1440
Old Cathedral, Salamanca

As in the Deësis genre, Mary and John flank the figure of Christ, praying for mercy for mankind while angels carry the implements of the Crucifixion – cross, nails, hammer, tongs, sponge, scourge, and pillar. Otherwise, this is the usual Last Judgment image. Souls rise dazedly from their tombs in the center, the just in their baptismal garments raise their arms in prayer, and the naked unjust crowd into the mouth of hell, where the demons await.

In most Last Judgments the demons drive the unjust into Hell, but in this one it is the sinners themselves who push each other forward. As in Inferno III, 125-26, "divine justice so spurs them on that fear turns to desire."

The first scroll on the right says venite benedicti, from Matthew 25:34, "Come, ye blessed of my Father." The letters of the second scroll on the right are illegible. As for the first scroll on the left, its last word is iudicium, "judgment"; I am not sure the other letters actually constitute words. Finally, the scroll of the angel with the pillar has ite maledicti, "Depart from me, you cursed."

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Photographed at the cathedral by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.