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

The Revelation of St John: 9. St John Devours the Book

Woodcut, 398 x 289 mm
Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe

The tenth chapter of Revelation (Rev. 10:1-9) describes how an angel, wrapped in cloud, his face shining like the sun, and with legs like pillars of fire, one planted in the sea, one on land, appeared to St John on Patmos. John was commanded to take the angel's scroll and eat it, thus "inwardly digesting" the divine message. While this scene is depicted in the foreground, putti are worshipping an altar in the heavens which is surrounded by a rainbow.

Dürer created his woodcuts for the Apocalypse using a descriptive style of lines which was highly admired by contemporaries and is particularly evident in the detailed sections.