Val-Dieu Apocalypse

Val-Dieu Apocalypse f. 43r · The Dragon, the Beast from the Sea and the False Prophet are cast into Hell


f. 43r · The Dragon, the Beast from the Sea and the False Prophet are cast into Hell

Following the final defeat of the beasts they are cast into Hell. Hell is represented by three large open-mouthed animal heads, the one at the bottom incorporating two evil-looking human heads. In the midst of the three mouths of Hell the beasts are descending head downwards into the flames where the heads of the souls of the wicked are to be seen. A brownish devil is pulling in the red Dragon with a pitchfork. Descending from above out of dark silver-grey clouds is the fire from heaven which destroyed the three beasts. The scene is set against a dull-green diaper ground. This very distinctive iconography of the three animal heads framing Hell originated in mid-thirteenth century England, occurring first in the Metz Apocalypse of c. 1250-55 and was copied in all its details in the Lambeth Apocalypse of c. 1260-67. However, the Val-Dieu artist adds huge teeth to two of the heads which were probably not in his model. A manuscript very close to Lambeth seems to have served as the model for the artist of the Val-Dieu Apocalypse.

“[...] And the devil, who seduced them, was cast into the pool of fire and brimstone, where both the beast and false prophets shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
(Apoc. 20: 9-10)

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