Animal Imagery in the Apocalypse

Blaise Gundu GBADEN


The Renaissance was a fertile era for the rise of religious art mainly based on Biblical narratives from the Old and New testaments. Daunting imagery from the Book of Revelation (The Apocalypse) did not inspire the creation of many paintings. It was Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) and William Blake (1757-1827) who produced several Biblical truths largely concentrating on the apocalyptic vision. This profound book contains a rich corpus of animal symbols, which provide challenging archetypes for contemporary painters in Nigeria and elsewhere. These have been presented in this paper chronologically in a lexicon; possible interpretations and analysis of the dense motifs are offered as guide to contemporary Nigerian painters and those interested in pursuing the merits of sacred art. Secondary sources of data have essentially informed the prognosis in this paper.  The author acknowledges that this is an ongoing study and it is likely to be deepened when newer insights are gotten from further research.

Keywords: God, Christ, Renaissance, Sacred Art, Apocalypse, Angels, Woman, Dragon, Sulphur, Beast

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ISSN 2224-6061 (Paper) ISSN 2225-059X (Online)

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