A Time of Transition

Natasha O'Hear

in Contrasting Images of the Book of Revelation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Art

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199590100
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725678 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

A Time of Transition

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This chapter concentrates on visual interpretations of the Book of Revelation from the late fifteenth century to the early sixteenth century, with particular reference to the Koberger Bible of 1483, Dürer's Apocalypse Series of 1498/1511 and Cranach's illustrations for Luther's New Testament of 1522. All three woodcut series appear within examples of the new print media and thus full attention is given in each case to their more public context. The close relationship between the three works, as well as with their Anglo‐Norman predecessors, is also explored throughout, although they all have distinctive hermeneutical emphases. The koberger illustrations offer a literal yet fairly compressed interpretation of the source‐text. Dürer's Apocalypse Series was primarily an aesthetic enterprise yet simultaneously represents a theologically sensitive presentation of text and images of the Book of Revelation. Cranach's Apocalypse illustrations meanwhile were both instructive and polemical, a visual counterpart to the Lutheran Reformation. All three hermeneutical emphases are explored in detail in this chapter.

Keywords: Koberger Bible; Dürer's Apocalypse Series; Cranach; woodcut; print; compressed; literal; interpretation; text‐image; polemical; Reformation; Luther

Chapter.  30980 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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