Flemish Apocalypse

Flemish Apocalypse f. 17r, The seven vials of the wrath of God are poured out upon the earth

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f. 17r, The seven vials of the wrath of God are poured out upon the earth

Nine busts of naked angels float against the starry, blue clouds. Seven of them empty vials upon the earth while two hold blank scrolls in one hand and gesture with the other. The first angel (left) pours his vial onto three men kneeling down in worship before an altar with the image of the dragon. The second angel, just above the altar, empties his vial upon the sea and all the living creatures in the sea perish: dead fish float in the water, two men and a woman have drowned. The vial of the third angel colours the water of the rivers red with blood. Then the angel of the waters speaks. He hangs between the first three angels and holds a blank scroll. The fourth angel, soaring high in the miniature, pours his vial upon the sun under him, scorching three men with heat and fire. The fifth angel empties his vial upon a low, rectangular stool, the throne of the beast. In front of the throne is a group of four people who gnaw their tongues in pain. The sixth angel pours the contents of his vial upon the river Euphrates running down under the bridge. Unclean spirits jump from the mouths of the dragon, the beast, which is not mentioned in the text, and the false prophet, portrayed as a monk. Finally, the seventh angel pours out his vial resulting in thunder and lightning, and powerful earthquakes that destroy the city of Babylon. The wrath of God is poured out over the city by a hand in the clouds emptying a chalice. The towers of the city crumble and the inhabitants are struck by falling debris. But the punishment of the earthquake is not sufficient: a storm of hail lashes the earth.


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