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Ways of Seeing Christ the Judge: The Iconography of Christ III and its Visual Context

Jones, N; (2021) Ways of Seeing Christ the Judge: The Iconography of Christ III and its Visual Context. Neophilologus 10.1007/s11061-021-09673-x. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

This article examines the iconographic programme of the Last Judgement scene depicted in Christ III. A notable feature of the poem’s detailed visual programme is the way in which it provides the audience with a single, panoramic vision that encompasses the divergent perspectives of the blessed and the damned. It is on account of this dual perspective that the poem, through its precise use of language and imagery, presents the audience with a bifocal vision of Christ as King of Kings and Judge of the World, in keeping with the words of Revelation 19:16. A detailed analysis of the poem’s imagery, however, suggests that its portrait of Christ as Judge is not only informed by scripture and exegetical sources, but is also indebted to contemporary visual imagery, particularly the depiction of Christ as Majestas Domini, or Christ in Majesty. As a result, and by approaching the poem’s imagery from an iconological perspective, it is argued that the poet of Christ III had a detailed knowledge of contemporary Christological motifs. Furthermore, a careful analysis of the language used to describe the Judgement scene, and particularly the depiction of Christ as Judge, suggests that the poet intentionally seeks to evoke a range of specific visual images in the mind of his audience in order to amplify the poem’s instructive and penitential aims.

Type: Article
Title: Ways of Seeing Christ the Judge: The Iconography of Christ III and its Visual Context
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11061-021-09673-x
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11061-021-09673-x
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Christ III, Last judgement, Christ as judge, Eschatology, Iconography, Penitence
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of English Lang and Literature
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122531
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