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Dramatic in scale and execution, Leighton’s design depicting the resurrection of the dead before the Last Judgement (Book of Revelation) was originally created for the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral. Leighton may have used Michelangelo’s ‘Last Judgement’ from the Sistine Chapel, Rome as an inspiration. Figures are shown rising out of tombs or the depths of a vast ocean. The main group are a husband, wife and child who have emerged united. Their posture and skin tones underline the stages of resurrection, from the limpness and pallor of death to the vigour and reddish hue of renewed life.

March 2010