Four Angels Staying the Winds and Signing the Chosen (1497 – 1498) by Albrecht Durer

Four Angels Staying the Winds and Signing the Chosen - Albrecht Durer - 1497 - 1498

Artwork Information

TitleFour Angels Staying the Winds and Signing the Chosen
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Date1497 - 1498
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationStaatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany

About Four Angels Staying the Winds and Signing the Chosen

“Four Angels Staying the Winds and Signing the Chosen” is a religious painting created by Albrecht Dürer between 1497 and 1498. The artwork belongs to the Northern Renaissance art movement and is part of the “Apocalypse” series by Dürer. It is currently held at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe in Karlsruhe, Germany.

The artwork is a woodcut print that depicts a dramatic scene inspired by the Book of Revelation. In the foreground, four angels are shown, two on the left and two on the right, appearing powerful and majestic. Each angel seems to be holding back the destructive winds, preventing them from harming the earth, sea, or trees, in line with the biblical narrative where they are instructed to not harm until the servants of God are sealed on their foreheads. There are figures on the ground who seem to be receiving markings or being chosen, as indicated by the hand of one of the angels reaching down towards them.

In the background, there’s a landscape that includes mountains and clouds, suggesting a dynamic and tumultuous environment. The detailed rendering of the clouds and winds contributes to the feeling of withheld chaos, while the calm, stoic expressions of the central angels impart a sense of divine control and order. The use of stark contrast and intricate details are characteristic of Dürer’s work and help to highlight the central themes of protection and divine selection. The monogram ‘AD’, which stands for Albrecht Dürer, is visible at the bottom of the image, serving as the artist’s signature.

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