Philips Liesaert

The Final Judgment 

Philips Liesaert was born in Antwerp in 1590. Little is known about this artist; he was probably taught by his father, who was also a painter, although no works by him have been identified yet. After spending some time in Gdansk, he came back to Antwerp, where he became master of the guild of St Luke in 1614. He died in 1632.

The present work, which is still very mannerist – and so probably an early work – depicts the Final Judgment. In the foreground, the dead are rising from their graves, looking up in awe at Christ towering over the scene. To his right – our left – are the blessed (also symbolized by the olive branch), while to his left – our right – the damned (the sword) are being taken to hell by monstrous creatures: half man, half insect, they are vaguely reminiscent of the specimens inhabiting Hieronymus Bosch’s universe. Seated next to Christ are the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist, who intervene on behalf of the people below, begging Christ to be merciful. The whole scene is painted in very bright colors, dominated by intense yellow and green. This gives the painting a surreal touch and a very “modern” feel.

Artist: Philips Liesaert (Antwerp 1590 - 1632)
Medium: oil on copper
Dimensions: 24 x 20 cm