MICHELANGELO Buonarroti
(b. 1475, Caprese, d. 1564, Roma)

Last Judgment (detail)

1537-41
Fresco
Cappella Sistina, Vatican

The detail shows a group of elect standing to the right of Christ. The huge figure holding the cross has been variously identified as the Cyrenean who came to Christ,s help on the way to Calvary, and as Dismas, the good thief. Below to the right, the St Sebastian is a fine example of a classical nude. He clasps in his hand the arrows which are the symbol of his martyrdom. To the left, Catherine of Alexandria turns towards St Blasius. In the original picture both of them were entirely naked, and Catherine's gesture - looking towards the man's sex, a pose of which Michelangelo was very fond (e.g. in Doni Tondo, and Temptation on the Sistine ceiling) - scandalised contemporary viewers.