Revelations





Art of the Apocalypse

 

   
Gothic Art Map
 
   
   
Exploration:
Revelations (Art of the Apocalypse)
 
 
    Introduction    
    Visions of the World to Come    
    Angels of the Apocalypse    
    The Four Horsemen and the Seven Seals    
    The Beasts, Antichrist, and the Women    
    Judgment Day    
    The Devil and the Damned    
    A New Heaven and a New Earth    
    APPENDIX
 
   
    Exploration: Gothic Era  (Gothic and Early Renaissance)
 
 




 


A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH
 





 
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Revelation 21:1
 

 

 

Heaven is both the place from which Christ passes judgment and the place to which the saved, or elect, ascend. In the wing of a Last Judgment triptych by Hieronymus Bosch, the approach to heaven looks surprisingly like the tunnel of light described by so many of today's chroniclers of "near-death" experiences.




 
  Hieronymus Bosch
(1450-1516)

Paradise
 

        


Hieronymus Bosch
(1450-1516)

Paradise

                

Hans Memling
(1435-1494)
Last Judgment
Paradise
Triptych
(left wing,detail)
1467-1471

Muzeum Narodowe, Gdansk

In other images, the idea of ascending into heaven is represented more literally. In Rogier van der Weyden's and Hans Memling's Last Judgment altarpieces, angels help the elect climb tentatively up the heavenly stairs—in contrast to the damned, who tumble into hell with terrifying speed.

   
 

Once in heaven, the saved can quench their thirst from the water of life—often shown as beautiful fountains—and take sustenance from the tree of life. These are consoling parallels to the forbidden tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden, with which mankind's troubles began. Thus, Revelation offers a fitting and enticingly hopeful conclusion to the Bible. The story that began with humanity's expulsion from paradise ends with its ascent to a new heaven and a new earth.

   



Dirck Bouts
(1415-1475)
Paradise
 1450
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Lille


 


Luca Signorelli
(1450-1523)
The Last Judgment

The Elect
Fresco, Orvieto
 

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