Flemish Apocalypse

Flemish Apocalypse f. 19r, The New Jerusalem


f. 19r, The New Jerusalem

St John is shown the city of Jerusalem. God is not enthroned but floats in the dark blue sky full of golden stars. He makes a gesture of speech with his right hand and holds a golden orb in his left. Four feathered angels surround God. They are painted tone on tone blue and are only visible thanks to the golden crosses on their heads. One of the seven angels holding the seven plagues addresses John and takes him “up in spirit to a great and high mountain”. This has been depicted literally: on the left, John climbs up a steep mountain; his back is turned to the beholder and he looks upward. The angel, covered in feathers, holds a vial in his left hand, and in his right, a golden reed to measure the city. The city is square with three gates on each side; twelve angels stand in the twelve gates (only eleven angels are visible). The foundation of the city and the four towers are adorned with precious stones. The illuminator has placed the four living creatures on the four towers. Their six wings are draped like collars around their necks and they have a radiate nimbus. Neither the towers, nor the living creatures are found in the Apocalypse text. The Lamb stands in the middle of the city; in his right foreleg he holds the usual cross-staff. In the foreground four crowned kings bring their gifts to the city.

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