Flemish Apocalypse

Flemish Apocalypse f. 3r, The letters to the churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamus, and Thyatira

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f. 3r, The letters to the churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamus, and Thyatira

Christ stands behind the seven golden candlesticks. He has the sharp sword in his mouth, seven stars in his right and the open book in his left hand. St. John prostrates himself between the candlesticks to the right of the Lord who is surrounded by seven gothic churches and one secular building. Scrolls identify four of the churches, to which the letters are destined: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamus and Thyatira. The next scene, lower left, tells of the message to the church of Smyrna. A man, with his back against the miniature frame and wearing a red doublet with poke sleeves and red/white bicoloured hose, is arguing with a group of Jews who may be recognised by their pointed headdress. In the lower right, in front of the church of Thyatira, lies a couple in bed. The sheet reaches to their middle; their upper bodies are naked. The illuminator symbolizes lust, as the woman is Jezabel, the false prophetess who seduces the servants of God and makes them commit fornication and eat of things sacrificed to idols.


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