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The scene is one of several painted on the spandrels formed between the various arches at Slapton. Around the corner is St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata with the Annunciation and the Mass of St. Gregory/Image of Pity on other faces of the spandrels. There are many stylistic similarities between these paintings, not least in the use of colour, and I suspect that all were painted at around the same time in the late 14th or early 15th centuries. All seem to come out of the flowering of medieval lay piety at this period. If St. Francis is the epitome of holiness among mortals, then Judas certainly occupies a position at the opposite pole of extreme evil. By hanging himself he has piled sin upon sin and ensured his eternal damnation.
In addition to the other Slapton paintings listed above, other subjects at Slapton already on site before the latest update are The Warning Against Idle Gossip, The Weighing of Souls, St. Christopher and St. Eloi shoeing the possessed horse.
© Anne Marshall 2001