While today the word "hell" is often used in situations involving long lines and a lack of caffeine, in the Middle Ages hell was darker, hotter and had a lot more pits. A new exhibition at The Getty Center in Los Angeles, "Heaven, Hell and Dying Well: Images of Death in the Middle Ages," depicts the rewards and punishments of the world beyond in a collection of artworks and manuscripts.

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The exhibition features a collection drawn both from the Getty's permanent collection and several new acquisitions, made up of remarkable imagery from illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, printed books and paintings. Skulls, angels, gruesome demons and lost corpses are rendered in incredible detail, rendering a convincing view of damnation. In one piece, titled, "The Beast Acheron," a giant, open-mouthed monster holding lost souls in its maw resembles something in Hieronymus Bosch's vision of hell. There is also an early form of Os Gemeos' street art monster-men in there as well, don't you think? If you're in LA, take the rare opportunity to see the roots of Western morality and Western art in one place. But, be warned: While hellfire is makes for great artwork it makes for horrible nightmares.

"Heaven, Hell And Dying Well: Images Of Death In The Middle Ages" is on view at The Getty Center in Los Angeles from May 29 until August 12.

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  • 'Denise Poncher before a Vision of Death.' Master of the Chronique scandaleuse (about 1493 - 1510), about 1500, French, tempera colors, ink and gold on parchment, leaf: 13.3 x 8.7 cm (5 1/4 x 3 7/16 in.), Image: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

  • 'Initial D: The Harrowing of Hell'. Artist Unknown, mid-1200s. Flemish, tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment, leaf: 23.5 x 16.5 cm (9 1/4 x 6 1/2 in.), Image: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

  • 'The Last Judgment', by Follower of Hans Schilling (German, active 1459 - 1467) and from the Workshop of Diebold Lauber (German, active 1427 -1467), 1469, Alsatian, ink, colored washes, and tempera colors on paper, leaf: 28.6 x 20.3 cm (11 1/4 x 8 in.), Image: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

  • 'The Three Living and the Three Dead,' by Master of the Dresden Prayer Book or workshop (Flemish, active about 1480 - 1515) and Illuminator Unknown, about 1480 - 1485, Flemish, tempera colors and gold on parchment, leaf: 20.5 x 14.8 cm (8 1/16 x 5 13/16 in.), Image: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

  • 'A Burial.' Spitz Master (French, active about 1415 - 1425), about 1420, French, tempera colors, gold, and ink on parchment, leaf: 20.2 x 14.9 cm (7 15/16 x 5 7/8 in.), The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

  • 'Lazarus's Soul Carried to Abraham.' Master of James IV of Scotland (Flemish, before 1465 - about 1541) and Unknown, about 1510 - 1520, Flemish, tempera colors, gold, and ink on parchment, leaf: 23.2 x 16.7 cm (9 1/8 x 6 9/16 in.), Image: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

  • 'Decorated Initial D.' Artist Unknown, about 1480 - 1485, Flemish, tempera colors and gold on parchment, leaf: 20.5 x 14.8 cm (8 1/16 x 5 13/16 in.), Image: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

  • 'The Opening of the Fourth Seal: The Fourth Horseman, about 1255 -1260.' Artist Unknown, English, tempera colors, gold leaf, colored washes, pen and ink on parchment, leaf: 31.9 x 22.5 cm (12 9/16 x 8 7/8 in.), Image: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

  • 'The Beast Acheron.' Simon Marmion (Flemish, active 1450 - 1489) and Attributed to Simon Marmion (Flemish, active 1450 - 1489) 1475, Franco-Flemish, tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment, Image: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

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