doom painting

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The public part of a medieval church (the nave) was separated from the priest's part (the chancel) by a stone arch and a wooden rood‐screen which supported an image of Christ on the Cross. A painting of the Last Judgement (a ‘Doom’) often occupied the space above the arch. This depicted Christ in majesty and the weighing of the souls of the dead. Good Christians are shown ascending to heaven, sinners as descending into hell. The fine example at St Thomas's, Salisbury, shows the sinners in the mouth of the great whale, or the Leviathan, of the book of Job. These Dooms were painted over at the Reformation, but over 60 have been restored.

Subjects: History.

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