John Martin, The Last Judgement

Tate Gallery, London

Date: 1853
Technique: Oil on canvas, 1968 x 3258 mm

This picture illustrates the central event of the book of Revelation. On a throne in the heavens sits Christ in judgement, surrounded by the four and twenty elders. Below on the right the forces of evil, commanded by Satan, are defeated and tumble into a bottomless pit. To the left on Mount Zion are ‘the good’, already in ‘the plains of heaven’ and awaiting the call to appear before the throne. Martin included a high percentage of artists and poets among the good; these were identified (as were many of the evil characters) in a chart which he published to accompany the picture.

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