Monday, January 22, 2007

The Dance of Fra Angelico

At Monastic Musings, Sister Edith has a lovely reflection on a famous painting, Fra Angelico's Last Judgment:

[Fra Angelico's] Last Judgment - painted for an altar - shows all the
graves popped open in the middle, the sinners being herded into Hell on the
right, and - over on the left - the blessed being invited to join the dance as
it winds its way into heaven.

The line of dancers form a circle - a common pattern found in many
cultures. If one looks closely (detail), it's clear
that there is an alternation: one winged angel, one new soul, another angel. At
the very end of the line, an angel is reaching out a hand to a Dominican monk -
Join the dance! - and his hand is outstretched, his face radiant.

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