Doomsday paintings are medieval depictions of Christianity’s Last Judgment, when the dead rise from their graves to gather before Christ enthroned, to find out whether their new eternal homes will be in heaven or hell. The most famous painting is that of Michelangelo, an enormous, extremely detailed rendition that covers the east wall in the Sistine Chapel. But in less important churches across Western Europe, as well as in some cathedrals, less renowned artists produced smaller frescos that were usually located on the arch at the exit point, generally a west wall. Their purpose, of course, was to scare the congregation into avoiding temptations and focusing their behavior on performing works of mercy and kindness. Sometimes such paintings would be placed on the chancel arch near the altar, where worshippers could contemplate it throughout the entire service.
In England, many of these paintings were destroyed or whitewashed over during the Reformation, but quite a few still remain. The one shown above is located at Holy Trinity Church in Coventry, where it was restored in 2004.
Just a little food for thought……..