The Last Judgment (Memling)

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Hans Memling's Last Judgement, c. late 1460s, National Museum, Gdańsk

The Last Judgment is a triptych attributed to Flemish painter Hans Memling and painted between 1467 and 1471. It is now in the National Museum in Gdańsk in Poland. It was commissioned by Angelo Tani, an agent of the Medici at Bruges, but was captured at sea by Paul Beneke, a privateer from Danzig. (A lengthy lawsuit against the Hanseatic League demanded its return to Italy.) It was placed in the Basilica of the Assumption but in the 20th century it was moved to its present location.

The central panel shows Jesus sitting in judgment on the world, while St Michael the Archangel is weighing souls and driving the damned towards Hell. (The sinner in St. Michael's right-hand scale pan is a donor portrait of Tommaso Portinari.) On the left hand panel, the saved are being guided into heaven by St Peter and angels. On the right-hand panel, the damned are being dragged to Hell.


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