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RELIGION: Heaven and hell

Hans Memling, Christ with singing and music-making Angels

In the New Testament it is constantly referred to the resurrection of the dead and eternal life, reserved for the followers of Jesus Christ. With Hans Memling and Hugo van der Goes, Christ waits in Heaven for the ascension of his mother. The ascension to Heaven of Mary is than also a favourite subject.

In the gospel of John, it states that, without being born again through water and the Holy Ghost, one cannot enter heaven. The sacraments are instruments that make this way possible: from the baptism that frees man from earthly sin, to giving the last sacrament of forgiveness.

Often eternal life is indicated also in portraits. Examples of this are the cherries as the heavenly food in the double portrait of the Master of Frankfurt.

The Last Judgment lets it be seen that not everyone gets into Heaven. Everyone is weighed and for those who are not complete the path to Hell is the result. In the case of Bosch, Heaven is presented on the left panel and Hell on the right panel.

Nanny Schrijvers