Icon of the Last Judgment. A Detailed Analysis
This work is analyzing the Icon of the Last Judgment, which is most probably painted in the Yaroslavl region. Many striking and evocative images in the Last Judgment icon present a clear, interesting, representative and comprehensive catalog of the complex theological concepts connected to the Last Judgment theme as they evolved during the 17th century. Its iconography exemplifies all the teachings of Russian Orthodox tradition and includes additional Bible-based subjects not found in standard Christian doctrine; for example, the representation of “Outcast Nations” argues that different peoples enjoy different degrees of access to salvation, and that some peoples, to the mind of 17th-century Russian society, are beyond salvation. There is also attention to the Russian social context, and some depictions show that the artist or artists who created the icon grappled with social questions, attempting to categorize sinners who were condemned by Russian society at that time. An example of such itemization is the group who sinned by excessive drinking, which, unusually, is depicted separately from other groups of sinners and, it is implied, are to be treated with more than the traditional level of mercy.