Anonymous: The Last Judgment with the the Seven Acts of Mercy and the Seven deadly sins (1490-1500)

 (Maagdenhuismuseum, Antwerp, Belgium)

A painting by an unknown Flemish artist from Antwerp.The painting consists of 3 horizontal registers. The top registers is dedicated to the last judgement, the subject of this painting, and is inspired by the Gospel of Matthew 25:31-46. Christ is in the center sitting on a rainbow, flanked by angels who are blowing on their trumpets to signal the last judgement while the dead are rising from their graves below Christ. Where the Rainbow touches the earth, Mary and John are praying for the souls of the dead. The bessed souls are guided by saint Pter on the right side of Christ to the gate of Heaven while the damned souls are falling into the mouth of Hell on the left side of Christ (on these type of paintings Heaven is always on the right side while Hell is always on the left side of Christ). Below the last judgements registers are 2 registers which show the Seven Acts of Mercy and the Seven deadly sins. In each scene of the Seven Acts of Mercy, Christ is present along with a saint. In each scene of the Seven deadly sins the Devil is present. Depicted are (from left to right):

Second row
- Act of Mercy: To feed the hungry, with Isaiah
- Act of Mercy: To give water to the thirsty, with saint Willibrord of Utrecht
- Act of Mercy: To shelter the homeless, with Abraham
- Act of Mercy: To clothe the naked, with Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
- Deadly sin: Pride
- Deadly sin: Envy
- Deadly sin: Sloth

Third row:
- Act of Mercy: To visit the sick, with Saint Catherine of Siena
- Act of Mercy: To visit the imprisoned, with Saint Martin of Tours
- Act of Mercy: To bury the dead, with saint |Louis IX of France and Tobias
- Deadly sin: Wrath
- Deadly sin: Greed
- Deadly sin: Gluttony
- Deadly sin: Lust

The message is that a person who follows the 7 acts of Mercy will be rewarded with a place in Heaven during the last judgement whle a person who follows the seven deadly sins will be damned into Hell. The piinting was commissioned for the Almonerschamber of Antwerp - to remind the almoners that what they do in life (being a good Christian) will have effect in the afterlife. Painting from 1490-1500.

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