According to scholar Carol O'Brien English, this painting has striking similarities to Diego Quispe Tito's Juicio final (Last Judgment) in the Franciscan convent in Cuzco, particularly in the depiction of Christ, the Franciscan holding a cross with two instruments of Christ's Passion, and the Archangel Michael defeating Lucifer.(1) Diego Quispe Tito was a talented painter who after the major earthquake that struck Cuzco on March 31, 1650, established a workshop that would serve to train other native born and mestizo artists. Spain had stopped sending master craftsmen and as a consequence, this proved to be the perfect opportunity for many local artists as similar workshops flourished to produce paintings, designs and articles for mostly religious purposes. These artists formed what would eventually be known as the Cuzco School.
According to Christian dogma and teachings, the Last Judgment will come at the end of time when Christ will come in majesty to judge the living and the dead. The painting illustrates saints in the upper register with Christ at center surrounded by the Virgin and other saints such as Francis of Assisi, St. Lawrence, St. Peter and, other servants of the Church. Prominently featured is the figure of the Archangel Michael who is dressed as a Roman centurion holding a sword and the weight scales surrounded by angels. At the bottom, the dead are seen rising while the damned are forever condemned to the mouth of Hell, which is depicted at the lower right.
(1) Dr. Carol O'Brien English is former Curator of Spanish Colonial Art, Denver Art Museum.