Nicolaus and Johannes: The Last Judgement (12th century)

(Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy)

An unusual altarpiece made by two unknown artists called Nicolaus and Johannes. This piece comes from the oratory of the former monastic church of San Gregorio Nazianzeno in Rome. The painting is divided into 5 bands with an explicative text in Latin below it. Depicted from top to bottom:

First row: Christ in an aureole with on either side an angel and a Cherubim (the angel with multiple wings and 2 wheels at its feet).
Second row: Christ before an altar with two angels and the 12 apostels
Third row: from left to right - saint Paul leading the elected, Mary and saint Stephen pleading for the Holy Innocents and three of the seven works of Mercy (dressing the naked, visiting the imprisoned and giving water to the thirsty)
Fourth row: two scenes from the resurrection of the dead - on the left animals spit out the limbs of the devoured bodies, on the right two angels wake the dead in the tombs to the sound of the apocalyptic trumpets
Fifth row: on the left Mary praying among the elect with the two donors (the abbess Costanza and the nun Benedetta) standing in front of her. On the right is a scene of Hell. 


This altarpiece probably is from the second half of the 12th century.

Comments