St John`s Vision of Christ and the Seven Candlesticks (1497 – 1498) by Albrecht Durer

St John`s Vision of Christ and the Seven Candlesticks - Albrecht Durer - 1497 - 1498

Artwork Information

TitleSt John`s Vision of Christ and the Seven Candlesticks
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Date1497 - 1498
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationStaatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany

About St John`s Vision of Christ and the Seven Candlesticks

The artwork “St John’s Vision of Christ and the Seven Candlesticks” by Albrecht Dürer, created between 1497 and 1498, is a religious painting from the Northern Renaissance period. It is part of the “Apocalypse” series and is held in the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany.

In this highly detailed woodcut, we see an imposing figure seated amongst clouds, presumed to be Christ, exuding a radiant glow. His hair and beard appear long and detailed, and upon his head is a circlet. He holds a book in his left hand and raises his right hand, from which emanates a starred motif. His visage is strong yet calm, bearing a facial expression that suggests authority. The figure’s garment is heavy and flowing, with careful lines suggesting the folds of the fabric.

In the foreground is the figure of St. John, kneeling in a pose of awe or adoration, gazing up at the vision before him. His own clothes are depicted with meticulous attention to the folds, conveying texture and volume. St. John is positioned between two of the seven candlesticks mentioned in the artwork’s title. All around these primary figures are clouds, and the overall composition suggests a celestial or otherworldly realm.

The woodcut contains an abundance of fine lines and distinct contrasts, hallmark traits of Dürer’s work, showcasing his mastery of this medium. The religious theme exemplifies the spiritual fascinations and biblical interpretations that were common during the Northern Renaissance, often aiming to provide visual representations of sacred text for a pre-dominantly illiterate audience.

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