"Apocalypse: the Final Revelation" is the title of an exhibition inaugurated today in the Sistine Hall of the Vatican Museums. The exhibit aims to invite people “to reconsider the last book of the New Testament through a selection of masterworks, outstanding among them a series of ancient icons."
The event, which will run until December 7, has been organized at the initiative of the St. Florian Committee of the Archdiocese of Udine, Italy.
The exhibition is made up of around 100 artifacts (codices, paintings on wood panel, canvases, sculptures, jewelry, engravings and drawings) dating from the 4th to the 20th centuries. They come from many well-known museums in Europe and the United States: the Vatican Museums, the Louvre, the Pompidou Center, the Musee de Cluny, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, the national museums of Budapest and of Warsaw, and St. Mark's Basilica in Venice.
Artists who have contributed to the display are: Beatus of Liebana, Pedro Berruguete, Guido Reni, Alonso Cano, Albrecht Durer, El Greco, Francisco Zurbaran, Salvador Dali, Giorgio de Chirico, and many others. One section of the exhibition is made up of Byzantine and Russian icons, including one of the vision of the Apocalypse from the Monastery of St. John the Theologian in Patmos, the Greek island where the Apostle wrote the last book of the Bible.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is composed of important works that record the history of the artistic representation of the Apocalypse. These include: a series of 16 engravings by Durer from the "Apocalypsis in figuris;" Guido Reni's "St. Michael Defeating Satan;" El Greco's "Immaculate Conception" inspirited by the apocalyptic vision of the woman clothed with the sun; the "Savior Enthroned" by the School of Novgorod; Catalan Romanesque and French Gothic sculptures; and the book "Apocalypse" containing works by seven 20th century artists, published by Josef Foret in 1961 and blessed by Pope John XXIII.