Picturing the Apocalypse: The Book of Revelation in the Arts over Two Millennia

Hardcover | May 25, 2015

byNatasha OHear, Anthony Ohear

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The book of Revelation has been a source of continual fascination for nearly two thousand years. Concepts such as The Lamb of God, the Four Horsemen, the Seventh Seal, the Beasts and Antichrist, the Whore of Babylon, Armageddon, the Millennium, the Last Judgement, the New Jerusalem, and theubiquitous angels of the Apocalypse have captured the popular imagination. One can hardly open a newspaper or click on a news site without reading about impending financial or climate-change Armageddon, while the concept of the Four Horsemen pervades popular music, gaming, and satire. Yet few peopleknow much about either the basic meaning or original context of these concepts or the multiplicity of different ways in which they have been interpreted by visual artists in particular. The visual history of this most widely illustrated of all the biblical books deserves greater attention. This book fills these gaps in a striking and original way by means of ten concise thematic chapters which explain the origins of these concepts from the book of Revelation in an accessible way. These explanations are augmented and developed via a carefully selected sample of the ways in which theconcepts have been treated by artists through the centuries. The 120 visual examples are drawn from a wide range of time periods and media including the ninth-century Trier Apocalypse, thirteenth-century Anglo-Norman Apocalypse Manuscripts such as the Lambeth and Trinity Apocalypses, thefourteenth-century Angers Apocalypse Tapestry, fifteenth-century Apocalypse altarpieces by Van Eyck and Memling, Durer and Cranach's sixteenth-century Apocalypse woodcuts, and more recently a range of works by William Blake, J.M.W. Turner, Max Beckmann, as well as film posters and film stills,cartoons, and children's book illustrations. The final chapter demonstrates the continuing resonance of all the themes in contemporary religious, political, and popular thinking, while throughout the book a contrast will be drawn between those readers of Revelation who have seen it in terms ofearthly revolutions in the here and now, and those who have adopted a more spiritual, other-worldly approach.

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The book of Revelation has been a source of continual fascination for nearly two thousand years. Concepts such as The Lamb of God, the Four Horsemen, the Seventh Seal, the Beasts and Antichrist, the Whore of Babylon, Armageddon, the Millennium, the Last Judgement, the New Jerusalem, and theubiquitous angels of the Apocalypse have captu...

Natasha O'Hear specialises in artistic interpretations of the Book of Revelation. She completed a PhD on the subject at Oxford University in 2008 and this led to her first monograph with OUP in 2011 Contrasting Images of the Book of Revelation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Art: A Case Study in Visual Exegesis. She has also publish...

other books by Natasha OHear

Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:May 25, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199689016

ISBN - 13:9780199689019

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Table of Contents

IntroductionKey Works of Art Referred to in this Book1. The Angel of the Apocalypse2. The Lamb3. The Four Horsemen4. The Seven Seals5. The Woman Clothed with the Sun6. The Satanic Trinity7. The Whore of Babylon8. Armageddon, Millennium, and the Last Judgement9. The New Jerusalem10. The Apocalypse in the Twentieth and Twenty-First CenturiesConclusion: The Impossible Book?GlossarySuggestions for Further ReadingBibliography