The Particular Judgement

The Particular Judgement

 

 

          In the fresco Christ is imparting a blessing in the manner of the Byzantine Church. The Archangel Michael and St Andrew the Apostle stand on his right while on his left stand the Archangel Gabriel and St Clement.

Two kneeling figures are being judged, most probably St Cyril and St Methodius. On the right there is St Clement, whose body they had recovered in the Crimea, pleading for them with his right hand extended.

Next to St Clement is the Archangel Gabriel, the messenger of good tidings in the Old Testament and of the coming of Christ in the Gospel. On the left St Andrew testifies to their missionary labours among the Slav peoples, for in popular tradition he himself had preached the Gospel from Greece to Kiev in Russia.

Next to St Andrew stands the Archangel Michael, perhaps representing the Byzantine Emperor Michael III who sent SS Cyril and Methodius out on their missionary journeys.

The style of the fresco is pure Byzantine, without Western influence. If, as some scholars hold, this fresco is to be dated to the second half of the ninth century, the date of composition must be after 884.

For in that year St Methodius died in Moravia, some sixteen years after his brother’s burial in the Basilica di San Clemente.