WEYDEN, Rogier van der
(b. 1400, Tournai, d. 1464, Bruxelles)
The Last Judgment (detail)1446-52
Oil on wood
Musée de l'Hôtel-Dieu, Beaune
The detail shows a group of the damned.
In Van der Weyden's time it was believed that lunatics were possessed by demons. Here, the figures of the damned are tortured and deformed by hatred and their faces distorted by madness. Gripped by a collective hysteria, they are unable to weep, but instead scream and fight, as their folly draws them on towards eternal punishment.