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The Last Judgement

The final contribution of the Bicci shop was the scene of the Last Judgment, spreading across the surface of the Triumphal Arch over the entrance to the Cappella Maggiore. This part of the decoration is not in a very sophisticated style, nor is the painted surface in very good condition. Nevertheless the iconography is very important to the overall conception of the decoration. Christ in a mandorla sits in judgment in the center of the upper register, flanked by the heavenly hierarchy. Saved souls, represented as kneeling nude figures, are in the spandrel on Christ’s right (our left), while the damned are on his left. An angel holds a large Cross near Christ, representing the major instrument of the Passion. In this manner the narrative of the True Cross that follows inside the chapel is literally framed in the larger context of the story of Christian salvation.