The Last Judgment in medieval Georgian art (tenth–thirteenth centuries)

Title: The Last Judgment in medieval Georgian art (tenth–thirteenth centuries)
Variant title:
  • Poslední soud ve středověkém gruzínském umění mezi desátým a třináctým stoletím
Source document: Convivium. 2021, vol. 8, iss. Supplementum 1, pp. [168]-187
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
Type: Article
Summary language
License: Not specified license
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The theme of the Second Coming of Christ / Last Judgment, always prominent in both Eastern and Western Christianity, is treated in medieval Georgian representational art with certain idiosyncrasies that warrant special consideration. Examples of stone carving from earlier periods show abbreviated versions of the theme, while those in monumental painting from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries rise to complex compositions; in most cases, painted decorations depicting the theme take up the whole western arm of a church. It is significant that, during the reign of Queen Tamar (1184–1213), compositions depicting the Last Judgment were large-scale and narrative, as well as quite common. Georgian versions of the Last Judgment present peculiarities and local specifics depicted in Georgian programs when compared to contemporary Byzantine examples. The theme of the Mother of God's intercession, beside the eschatological expectation, must directly hearken to the concept of Georgia being the lot of the Mother of God rooted deep in Georgian spiritual history. The inclusion of the Ancient of Days in the supplication scene might be considered yet one more clearly expressed Georgian variation of the Last Judgment.