Bay 4 - The Last Judgement

Panel 10 - Souls of the blessed in Abraham's bosom

This panel shows the aftermath of the weighing of souls (panel 11) with the saved resting safely in a cloth held by Abraham, who is seen seated on a richly decorated bench, with flowering branches in his hands. Panel 10 thus parallels panel 1 in depicting the fate of the saved but this time in relation to the final, rather than the 'particular' judgement.

Although "Abraham's bosom" as a place of repose for the souls of the worthy dead is only mentioned twice in the Bible (as part of the Parable of Dives and Lazarus in Luke 16:23 and 23), it became a commonplace in early medieval art and literature, as one of several rather vague notions used to account for the awkward gap between death and the 'beatific vision of God' after the Last Judgement - a sense which would have been particularly inappropriate in this case. Later it also became used, as here, as a metaphor for Heaven itself (see entry on "The Bosom of Abraham" in the Catholic Enclopedia) and frequently appears as a visual shorthand to indicate the fate of martyred saints or other worthies (cf Bay 23, panel 20).

Tituli: None

Restoration notes: Restorer's label "G24" painted upper left.