Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 October 2021
Rainer Warland examines Cappadocia, a region that greatly influenced the evolution of the iconography of Hell. It is here that the earliest surviving examples of Hell in Byzantine monumental art are to be found. The author discusses the iconographical and textual background to the iconography of Hell in the sepulchral churches of Cappadocia, which date from between 900 and the 13th century. He examines the early beginnings of funeral art, the relationship of the theme of Hell to written and pictorial sources and how its various characteristics developed to a more complex narrative of salvation over time with its depiction constantly evolving as new elements were added. He argues that Cappadocia’s geographical position, history and transcultural exchanges resulted in a multi-ethnic society and a varied treatment of the theme and it is here that the origins of the iconographical elements in the monumental Hell imagery as part of the Last Judgement are located.