St John and the Twenty four Elders in Heaven (1497 – 1498) by Albrecht Durer

St John and the Twenty four Elders in Heaven - Albrecht Durer - 1497 - 1498

Artwork Information

TitleSt John and the Twenty four Elders in Heaven
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Date1497 - 1498
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationStaatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany

About St John and the Twenty four Elders in Heaven

The artwork “St John and the Twenty four Elders in Heaven” by Albrecht Dürer, dating from 1497-1498, represents the Northern Renaissance art movement. It is a religious painting that forms part of the “Apocalypse” series and is currently located at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe in Karlsruhe, Germany. This work is characterized by intricate details and the use of symbolism as it depicts a scene from the Book of Revelation.

In this woodcut, you can observe a central structure where the figure of God is seated on a throne surrounded by the twenty-four elders, who are represented with crowns and musical instruments. Radiant light, possibly signifying divine illumination, emanates from the central figure. Below, St. John is seen on the lower left corner, gazing upwards at the heavenly vision, with a gesture that suggests he is either receiving or contemplating the revelation. Intricate cloud formations swirl around the central scene, adding to the ethereal and transcendent nature of the imagery.

The landscape depicted in the lower section of the woodcut features elaborate detail, with a mix of architectural elements and natural scenery, creating a sense of depth and grounding the heavenly apparition in a terrestrial context. This mix of the celestial and the earthly is typical of the themes found in Dürer’s Apocalypse series, capturing the blend of real-world observations with spiritual visions. Dürer’s monogram, “AD”, is also visible, subtly incorporated into the artwork.

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