(b. 1783, Düsseldorf, d. 1867, Berlin)

The Last Judgment

Ludwigskirche, Munich

In Munich in 1836 Cornelius received a major commission to decorate the altar wall of the Ludwigskirche with the fresco of the Last Judgment. Basically it is oriented to Michelangelo's fresco in the Sistine Chapel, but is easily half as big again, so it is now the largest fresco in the world. It proved fatal for Cornelius. The individual elements simply would not resolve into a unified composition. Cornelius was overwhelmed with criticism as soon as the painting was finished, and there were acrimonious disputes with King Ludwig I of Bavaria.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.