BELLEGAMBE, Jean
(b. ca. 1470, Douai , d. ca. 1535, Douai)

The Last Judgment (left wing, detail)

c. 1525
Oil on oak panel
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

The upper left corner of the central panel shows the ascent of the blessed into heaven. This passage is organized around two remarkable buildings: on the earth, a substantial spiral edifice surrounded by stairs and turrets; at the end of the journey, a heavenly palace designed as the epitome of Flamboyant architecture. This circular, insubstantial palace is formed of tall, slender arcades with elaborate tracery and delicately articulated buttresses and pinnacles. Bellegambe's fictive edifice is an ideal structure - like gold work, too delicate to withstand the stresses of earthly existence.




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