THE APOCALYPSE: BREAKING OF THE SIXTH SEAL
BY ALBRECHT DÜRER, 1496-98
This image made by Albrecht Dürer in 1496-98 depicts a scene from the Apocalypse or Book of Revelations (the last section of the New
Testament of the Christian Bible), which Saint John the Divine wrote after obtaining a vision whilst held
prisoner in a cave on the Greek island of Patmos. Describing his vision, the Saint mentions an end
resurrection of the souls of the dead,
divine last judgement,
followed by a
grand entry of the souls of the blessed into Paradise.
The word Apocalypse is interesting. Its English meaning is assumed to be "the end of the world", and the event described by the saint is widely misunderstood to be a prophecy of world destruction that awaits us a the end of history.
But as the psychiatrist R.D. Laing pointed out, if you scrutinise the text, you will not find a single
indication that St. John was talking about an external phenomenon! The word itself, in Greek,
simply means "revelation," or more precisely, the uncovering of something that was hidden.