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Michelangelo's Last Judgment


Charon Within the Last Judgment
Charon is a detail from Michelangelo's Last Judgment (fresco 48 x 44 feet) within the Sistine Chapel, Vatican.
Charon is a detail from Michelangelo's Last Judgment (fresco 48 x 44 feet) within the Sistine Chapel, Vatican.

Michelangelo borrowed from the poet Dante by including Charon, gatekeeper of the river Styx, in his Last Judgment (1536-41) portrayal of hell. This hideous embodiment of evil herds the darkly gaunt and tortured souls as they spill upon the shores of hell. In his rendering of this figure, Michelangelo effectively brought to life Dante's "Charon, the demon, with eyes like embers."

Charon took the condemned souls to Hell's Mouth. Go to the next page to learn more about Michelangelo's version of hell.

To learn more about Michelangelo, art history, and other famous artists, see: