At the End of All Days

Peter Paul Rubens, The Great Last Judgement, around 1617

By Alte Pinakothek, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen

Alte Pinakothek, Bavarian State Painting Collections

The Great Last Judgement (around 1617) by Peter Paul RubensOriginal Source: Object in the Online-Collection of the Pinakotheken

To illustrate the advent of Christ on the Day of Judgement Rubens chose a memorable compositional structure.

The blessed on the left, who...

... drawn by angels...

... receive the crown of eternal life.

The damned on the right, chased away by Saint Michael the Archangel and other angels...

... plunge into the depths.

Here they are awaited in Hell.

God the father is forming the highest point of the composition.

Christ sits below judging the world.

The blessed are received in heaven by saints, as well as persons from the Old Testament, like Adam and Eve.

The painting was originally intended to hang above the high altar in the Jesuit Church in Neuburg an der Donau. Rubens received this commission from Wolfgang Wilhelm Count Palatine of Neuburg after he had converted to Catholicism for power­ political reasons.

#Kunstminute | Mirjam Neumeister: Peter Paul Rubens, Das Große Jüngste GerichtAlte Pinakothek, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen

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© Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen

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