Last Judgement
Fresco by GIOTTO

The chapel is entered from the west, the side on which the sun goes down. In accordance with an old tradition, the entrance wall of the chapel is filled by the depiction of the Last Judgement. This scene is as complex and crowded as the frescoes on the side walls are concentrated and reduced to essentials. This large painting occupies the entire west wall across several registers. The three-light windows of the façade also had to be incorporated into the composition.

This extensive depiction of the Last Judgment is dominated by the large Christ in Majesty at its centre. The twelve apostles sit to His left and to His right. Here the two levels divide: the heavenly host appears above, people plunge into the maw of hell below, or are led by angels towards heaven.

The way this large fresco is divided into registers is traditional. But if we look at Giotto's invention in detail, then his novel attempts at visualizing different spheres, as well as abstract beliefs, become particularly apparent. In the center of the representation, Christ is enthroned as supreme Judge in a rainbow-colored mandorla. The deep, radiant gold background, the style of painting, and the delicate substance give the impression that the heavens have opened in order to reveal the powerful, extremely solidly modelled figure of Christ. Different levels are likewise alluded to when the choirs of angels disappear behind the real window, or when the celestial watch in the upper area of the picture rolls back the firmament, behind which the golden-red doors of the heavenly Jerusalem shine forth. The black and red maw of hell, which seems to anticipate Dante's "Inferno", is different again in its impact.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 10 minutes):
Giuseppe Verdi: Requiem, Dies irae (excerpt)


Preview Picture Data File Info Comment
Last Judgment
1306
Fresco, 1000 x 840 cm
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

909*1300
True Color
268 Kb



Last Judgment
1306
Fresco, 1000 x 840 cm
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

1100*1318
True Color
297 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

1300*1139
True Color
205 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

1292*1100
True Color
265 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

1290*1100
True Color
250 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

1114*1296
True Color
229 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

1260*1200
True Color
240 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

1496*900
True Color
192 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

1488*900
True Color
207 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

800*1089
True Color
171 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

1627*900
True Color
266 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

801*1068
True Color
175 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

1115*1300
True Color
218 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

1102*1300
True Color
224 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

1458*1000
True Color
269 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

1200*1110
True Color
251 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

1100*1279
True Color
213 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

1500*859
True Color
236 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

1000*1162
True Color
231 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

790*962
True Color
168 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

1100*1297
True Color
238 Kb



Last Judgment (detail)
1306
Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

1105*1300
True Color
208 Kb




Summary of paintings by Giotto
Frescoes in San Francesco, Assisi
Upper Church: Legend of St Francis | New Testament scenes | Lower Church
Frescoes in Arena Chapel, Padua
Life of Joachim | Life of Virgin | Life of Christ | Angels | Heads
Last Judgment | Heads
Vault frescoes | Virtues and Vices | Decorative elements
Frescoes in Santa Croce, Florence
Frescoes in Peruzzi Chapel | Frescoes in Bardi Chapel
Panel paintings
Crucifix | Maestà and others | Polyptych panels | Srefaneschi Altarpiece | Baroncelli Polyptych
Miscellaneous works
Navicella mosaic | Campanile of the Florence Cathedral