Baptistery--page 2 (of three pages)

mid 11th century; enlarged in the 12th-13th century with dome and apse built on west side; mosaics in the interior, 13th century; exterior sculptural decoration, 14th to 16th century

Scenes relating to the Last Judgment

Just as the Baptistery itself signals a new life with the adoption of the Christian faith, the dome reminds the viewer that eventually there is bodily death with Christ's judgment at the end. The three lower zones of the dome mosaic on three faces of the octagon focus on scenes of judgment with the lower register on the left (Christ's right) indicating salvation while the scenes on the right (Christ's left or "sinister" side) depicting Hell. Below the angels trumpet the last judgment.


Below Christ's feet the dead rising from their sepulchres


Christ's left: Hell

The central horned demon (left image), large because he is important, has dragon heads growing from his ears. Various tortures are depicted.

The blessed on Christ's right

The image below depicts the souls of the Righteous in the laps of Old Testament Patriarchs--Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. See this depiction in medieval sculpture as well.

Continue to page 3.

See also Baptistery doors by Andrea Pisano.
See also Ghiberti's first set of doors (north doors).
See also Ghiberti's Paradise doors.

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© 2005 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

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