Flemish Apocalypse

Flemish Apocalypse f. 10r, The sounding of the fifth and sixth trumpets

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f. 10r, The sounding of the fifth and sixth trumpets

John, with less hair and a bit older, observes the effects of the fifth and sixth trumpets from the lower left of the miniature. Above in the miniature, against dark-blue clouds, appear two trumpeting angels. The sky glitters with stars. The locusts come up from a bottomless pit, depicted here as a flaming, gaping Hell Mouth with sharp teeth between which lie three naked damned. The locusts have the forelegs of a horse but a lion’s body. Their heads are crowned and their hair has been plaited as women’s plaits, according to this particular text. Mailed collars protect their upper bodies. Contrary to verse ten, their tails are not like scorpions’ but end in serpent’s heads. However, according to verse nineteen the tails ending in serpent’s heads belong to the horses at the bottom of the miniature. The king of the abyss, presented as a crowned, hairy, winged devil, is leading the locusts. After the sound of the sixth trumpet, the four angels in the Euphrates are released. Free of their bonds and clad in full armour they stand on the water. They all wear a basinet with a gorget, the angel soldier to the right has a breastplate over his hauberk. The one to the left wears under his breastplate a lamellar iron skirt with a little notch in the lower lames (to facilitate riding). They carry swords, a lance, and a halberd-like weapon. John then sees the vision of the horses of the army with their riders. The horses have the heads of lions and look more like lions than horses, except for their hoofs.


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