Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY

Tipping the scales. In the central panel of Rogier van der Weyden’s altarpiece of The Last Judgment (1445–1448), the 6,000 years of human history have run their course, as has the final, seventh millennium of peace and rest under Christ’s dominion, marked by relief from the temporarily banished Satan. Now the remaining dead have been resurrected (only martyrs experience the first resurrection), and the Last Judgment has begun. Here Saint Michael weighs their fates as the dead sprout forth from their graves.