Flemish Apocalypse

Flemish Apocalypse f. 18r, The Last Judgment and Satan bound for a thousand years


f. 18r, The Last Judgment and Satan bound for a thousand years

In the middle of the page, on the left, hangs an angel in the clouds. He holds a big golden key in his left hand and around his right wrist is a long chain. The chain is attached to one of the four visible heads of the dragon below him. The bottomless pit into which the dragon is cast has taken the form of an opening in a rock that can be closed by a large door. After a thousand years the dragon will be released and he will surround Jerusalem with his army. This scene is shown in the foreground. The dragon stands in the middle with five soldiers behind him, two of whom are armed with maces. Fire rains from heaven. However, it does not fall on the army but on the wide-open Hell Mouth behind the city. The suffering Christ, wearing a crown of thorns and displaying his bleeding wounds, sits in a mandorla on a double rainbow. He sits on the upper rainbow and his feet rest on the lower one. His hands support two swords, the points of which touch his mouth. The background of the mandorla is red and behind Christ is a sea of white water. Four figures flank him on both sides. Traditionally, John the Baptist and the Holy Mary act as intercessors. The miniaturist might have rendered John the Baptist and John the Evangelist instead. If so, it is a very unusual element that is not found elsewhere.

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