The Last Judgment Polyptych in Beaune, 1446-52 (Page 1)
by Rogier van der WEYDEN

The Burgundian chancellor Nicolas Rolin (ca. 1376-1462), one of the richest and most powerful men of the period, commissioned the Beaune Altarpiece for the hospital he had founded to care for the poor as well as the sick in 1443 in Beaune in the old duchy of Burgundy, where the work can still be seen today. The altarpiece was intended for the chapel that stood at the end of the 72-meter-long hospital ward. The patients were to be able to see it across a partition, and its considerable dimensions and composition, clearly distributed over the entire surface of the picture and easily surveyed even from some way off, helped it to meet that requirement. Opened out, the retable shows the Last Judgment, a clear admonition to the sick to remember their own mortality and turn their minds to God. This is easily understandable, since the spiritual care of the sick was as important as their bodily care, and in the thinking of the time only those in a state of spiritual grace could be restored to health.

Take the Guided tour for detailed explanations.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 8 minutes):
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Requiem K 626, Dies irae


Preview Picture Data File Info Comment
The Last Judgment Polyptych
1446-52
Oil on wood, 215 x 560 cm
Musée de l'Hôtel Dieu, Beaune

1467*600
True Color
171 Kb



The Last Judgment Polyptych (reverse side)
1446-52
Oil on wood
Musée de l'Hôtel Dieu, Beaune

920*750
True Color
109 Kb



The Last Judgment Polyptych (detail)
1446-52
Oil on wood
Musée de l'Hôtel Dieu, Beaune

731*1020
True Color
178 Kb



The Last Judgment (detail)
1446-52
Oil on wood
Musée de l'Hôtel Dieu, Beaune

566*1330
True Color
180 Kb



The Last Judgment (detail)
1446-52
Oil on wood
Musée de l'Hôtel Dieu, Beaune

680*1110
True Color
177 Kb



The Last Judgment (detail)
1446-52
Oil on wood
Musée de l'Hôtel Dieu, Beaune

807*900
True Color
161 Kb



The Last Judgment (detail)
1446-52
Oil on wood
Musée de l'Hôtel Dieu, Beaune

664*1101
True Color
124 Kb



The Last Judgment (detail)
1446-52
Oil on wood
Musée de l'Hôtel Dieu, Beaune

666*920
True Color
150 Kb



The Last Judgment (detail)
1446-52
Oil on wood
Musée de l'Hôtel Dieu, Beaune

720*1005
True Color
154 Kb



The Last Judgment (detail)
1446-52
Oil on wood
Musée de l'Hôtel Dieu, Beaune

553*910
True Color
90 Kb




Summary of works by Rogier van der Weyden
Altarpieces
Deposition | St Luke Madonna | Annunciation | Miraflores
7 Sacraments | Crucifixion | Bladelin (Middelburg) | Beaune
Braque | St Columba | St John | Various altarpieces
Portraits
Portrait diptychs | Individual portraits
Single panels
Pietàs | Various | Fragments, copies of last works
Graphics