COXCIE, Raphael
(b. 1540, Mechelen, d. 1616, Brussels)

Last Judgment

Oil on panel, 300 x 369 cm
Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Ghent

This work illustrate the influence exerted in the Low Countries by the Italian Renaissance. A variety of artists made the journey to Italy in the 16th century, where they absorbed the new artistic ideas. Their work brought an entirely new approach to religious painting compared to the pious, inward-looking art of the 15th century. Novel elements included brilliant compositions and above all the heightened attention to the human body - a focus that led to frequent exaggeration.

Coxcie's Last Judgment is a rather unsuccessful attempt to match the anatomical skills of the great Italian masters. It was painted for the Town Hall in Ghent, to replace a 15th-century Last Judgment that was destroyed during the mid-16th-century Iconoclasm.

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