Flemish Apocalypse

Flemish Apocalypse f. 5r, The vision of Heaven


f. 5r, The vision of Heaven

In his vision, John sees an elegant angel standing on the green shore. The angel wears a close-fitting, white garment and has beautiful, large wings made of peacock feathers. His back is turned to the beholder and he holds a mandorla high above his head with outstretched arms. He makes a great deal of effort, as shown by the way he throws his head backwards. God the Father sits facing forwards on a Gothic throne in the mandorla, his cloak held together by a large oval morse. He wears a golden crown and behind his head is a cruciform nimbus. Lightning, painted like red sprays of water, and thunder proceed from the throne. Large hailstones accompany the lightning. The seven lamps hang by little hooks anchored on the upper frame of meandering clouds. Under the mandorla is the sea of glass like crystal. God is flanked by the four living creatures: the lion, the bull, the creature with the face of a man and the eagle. Each creature has a golden nimbus and six wings consisting of small feathers. Thirteen of the twenty-four ancients, painted tone on tone blue-black, surround the mandorla. Some wear crowns of gold, others play musical instruments such as a harp, shawm or viol.

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