(b. ca. 1440, Seligenstadt, d. 1494, Bruges)
Last Judgment Triptych (open)1467-71
Oil on wood, 221 x 161 cm (central), 223,5 x 72,5 cm (each wing)
Muzeum Narodowe, Gdansk
His almost obsessional concern for realistic detail did not prevent Memling from using allegory and symbol in his work. In one of his early works, the Last Judgment Triptych, the damned and the elect are linked together to form a garland of bodies, some tortured, some beatific, in descending and rising forms that span the entire composition. Christ is seated on a circular rainbow which separates the world above from the world below, his feet resting on a golden globe. To either side of his head are the lily of mercy and the blazing sword of justice.