Memento Mori Of Tympanum Of The Ste-Foy Cathedral

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Art and sculpture throughout medieval Europe shared the common theme of memento mori. Memento mori is a Latin phrase that translates to “remember your mortality” or “remember you must die”. This type of imagery is meant to strike terror into the soul. The expression memento mori emphasized Heaven, Hell and salvation of the soul in the afterlife. The Last Judgment is a tympanum and detail of the west portal, Sainte Foy Cathedral. It’s an example of how memento mori serves a moralizing purpose. This famous tympanum of the Ste-Foy Cathedral dates back to the early 1100s. It’s a sculpture that portrays the Last Judgment. It is usual in Last Judgment scenes to show hell on the right and heaven on the more towards the left. Under the figure of Christ, we can see Saint Michael who weights the souls to determine their fate. The good people that are saved to the left side look like they are living in serenity. They are in comfortable chambers that are lit by oil. On the right side the damned are in torment. We can see that people entering hell are devoured by the jaws of a monster. There are dead being eaten by demons and tortured in hell. This sculpture serves as memento mori because it’s a reminder to prepare for death. It’s a scene of what awaits them after death, and according to the decisions in their life, Christians will go to either heaven or hell. In Christian faith, those who lived according to god’s law were going to be saved. And those who sinned without reconciliation were damned. This also acts as a moralizing purpose because it made people live simpler lives. Salvation is a completely free gift from the Lord and comes by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. This is idea lead people to a gracious lifestyle in order to be saved. This fear was accomplished by the dreadful images of hell to make people live good lives, in order to not suffer at the end of

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