DÜRER, Albrecht
(b. 1471, Nürnberg, d. 1528, Nürnberg)

The Revelation of St John: 5. Opening the Fifth and Sixth Seals

Woodcut, 39 x 28 cm
Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe

A vision (Rev. 6:9-12) of the martyrs of Roman persecution `underneath the altar' and awaiting their vindication accompanied the breaking of the fifth seal. Each was given a white robe. (The robes, distributed by an angel, are being donned.)

The breaking of the sixth seal (Rev. 6:12-17) brought the day of wrath: the sun turned black, the moon red as blood, the stars fell, mountains and islands moved. (Stars rain from heaven upon pope, emperor and common folk on the earth below.)