Bay 4 - The Last Judgement

Panel 02 - The good man and the sinner in church

Description:
Two episodes in one frame, separated by an altar, on which stands a golden eucharistic chalice. To the left, a priest raises his right hand to bless a kneeling man (see detail 2 below), who is pushed forward by an angel. The man is holding the priest's stole, which the latter presents to him with his left hand.

To the right, an unrepentant sinner is being cast out by the same priest, who carries an open book inscribed with fictive writing (see detail 1 below). The man can be recognised as an unworthy rich man or a miser, both by the money bag hanging from his neck and by the fur lining of his cloak (this triangular hatching is a common way of showing fur, specifically the 'vair', or alternating light and dark squirrel pelts used as lining for rich garments - see the furriers donor panels 1 & 2 of the Passion window in bay 4 and also the lower left panel of the St James window at Chartres). A devil, far right, grasps the man by his wrist and shoulder and drags him off to his unfortunate destiny, depicted in the adjoining panel 3. Precisely what the jet or ray coming from the priest's right hand may have been is not clear.

Note:
As described in the overview, this panel is the starting point for the window and serves as a hinge-point for the first sub-group of panels (1-3). The left half of the panel, together with panel 1, shows the consequences of a good life, while the right half and its successor in panel 3, shows the opposite. The altar in the middle, with it's decorative hangings and communion chalice, serves to identify the setting, as well as acting as an architectural caesura separating the two episodes. Since there may well have been an altar positioned directly below the window, this detail also serves as a visual tie-in between the real world and the depicted reality, further drawing the viewer into the clear moral message of the window's broader programme.

Tituli: None

Restoration notes: No restorer's labels and no obvious replacement panes. Generally very good condition.

Details:

1) The priest dismissing the sinner.

2) The priest giving communion/blessing to the penitent man