Apocalypse is a world-famous cycle of wood engravings by Albrecht Durer on a religious theme. The series, performed by a German artist in a three-year period from 1496, consists of 15 works depicting the biblical Revelation of the Last Judgment. Engravings were published twice. And the most famous is the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
The engraver's work illustrates the words recorded in the sixth Chapter of the Revelation of John, about four colorful horses and their riders. From right to left, these riders are engraved. The first - with a crowned head, lowered the reins of a white horse, pulled a bowstring all the way and looks pityingly forward - the Winner. The second waved a huge sword, blinded by fury, he swiftly races his horse - War. The third - without a hat, richly dressed, with weights in his right hand, with an indifferent look, looks off into the distance - Hunger. Fourth - a skinny old man with a trident, his bony leg almost touching the earth's surface, his horse is equally exhausted, with a twisted rope instead of reins, without horseshoes on the hooves - this is Death itself.
The horses, according to the Bible, are followed by hell, which Dürer depicted as a terrible beast with an open toothy mouth. The whole line rushes, not noticing a handful of people under the hooves: here is the ruler in the royal crown, and the townsman with the peasant, even the monk. A lone winged angel hovers over the swift menacing movement of the figures. No one will escape punishment for committing evil deeds during his life - this is what the master wants to show us on this engraving.
The characters are shown close to the viewer, so that the illusion of merging the space of the real and the painted is created. The Four Horsemen are about to jump out of the frame and overtake everyone, retribution is inevitable. The artist shared with us his apocalyptic forebodings.
The engraving of 1498 gave Albrecht Dürer a well-deserved world fame.
Apotheosis of War Picture