Last Judgment, from the Sistine Chapel, after Michelangelo
44.6 cm x 56.1 cm (17 9/16 in. x 22 1/16 in.)
Nicolo della Casa
(active Lorraine, 1543 – 1548)
Medium and Support:
Engraving from ten plates
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Leo Steinberg Collection, 2002
Unveiled in November 1541, the Last Judgment on the west wall of the Sistine Chapel stired tremendous excitement. Before the end of the decade, there would be three mounumental reproductive engravings of the composition. Della Casa's was the first, printed on ten plates. This is an impression of the top center section, with the resurrected Christ and the interceding Virgin. Even before his virtually certain trip to Rome, circa 1546-47, Cambiaso could have known the composition from such engravings, and after his return he may well have referred to them. In Cambiaso's own Last Judgment in Santa Maria delle Grazie at Chiavari (dated 1550), the upper part of the fresco depends upon precisely this section of Michelangleo's composition.