Sarcophagus Lid with Last Judgement


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 300

One of the earliest translations of biblical verse into image appears on the front of this sarcophagus lid. Christ, bearded and wearing a pallium (mantle), welcomes eight sheep to his right with a warm gaze and gentle pat, and with a raised hand he rejects the five goats to his left. The composition evokes the Gospel parable of Christ during the Last Judgment "separat[ing] people . . . as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats" (Matt. 25:31–46). The scroll bundle and costume that present Christ as a philosopher imbue him with learned authority. At this time, integrating bucolic and classical philosopher imagery was popular, so the workshop that carved this scene could have arranged similar figures differently for the decoration of non-Christian sarcophagi.

Sarcophagus Lid with Last Judgement, Marble, Roman

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.