Russia Religion Subjects New Testament The Last Judgement

The Last Judgement

The iconography of the Last Judgement had largely formed in Byzantine art by the ninth century. The theme of the Second Coming, however, was so important for Christianity that its depiction in art continued to develop over the course of the following centuries, reflecting the various attempts to reinterpret the concepts of salvation, destruction, retribution, temptation, punishment, intercession, justice and eternity.

Images of the Last Judgement were popular in Old Russian frescoes from the second half of the twelfth century onwards. For a long time, Russian representations of the Second Coming reproduced iconographic schemes developed by Greek theologians and artists, basing the composition on the writings of Ephremus Sirin. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, new elements were introduced to the iconography of Judgement Day, following such texts as The Life of St Basil the New and The Exodus of the Soul.

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