Flemish Apocalypse

Flemish Apocalypse f. 15r, The adoration of the Lamb, the fall of Babylon, the harvesting of the earth

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f. 15r, The adoration of the Lamb, the fall of Babylon, the harvesting of the earth

John sits in the lower left corner writing on the scroll lying on his lap. He looks up at what is happening in the miniature. In the upper left, on a barely visible mount Sion, stands the Lamb. He holds a cross-staff with a pennon charged with a red cross in his left foreleg. Behind his hornless head is a cruciform nimbus. A few chosen ones, representing the one hundred and forty-four thousand, kneel before the Lamb. From beneath the Lamb, a white and red stream falls upon the city of Babylon, probably symbolizing the voice “as the noise of many waters” mentioned in verse 2. The chosen ones have their backs turned to the round mandorla in which God the Father is seated on a wide throne, surrounded by the four living creatures. He has an open book in his left hand and makes a gesture of speech with his right hand. On the left-hand side of God are five of the twenty-four ancients singing and raising their hands in prayer. Babylon, above John, trembles and falls as if hit by an earthquake. The fourth angel in the sky empties a chalice containing the “wine of the wrath of God” upon the seven-headed beast from the sea. The beast stands on an altar with four steps leading to it. A group of five men worship the beast. John then sees a man upon a cloud “like to the Son of man” with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his left hand. Christ sits under the Father. On earth, the hour has come to reap. Two angels are busy harvesting the earth: one reaps the corn and the other the grapes.


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