Date: 18th century mid (1738?)
Material: Wood, oil, pigments
Technique: oil painting
1896: Painter Siegfried Alexander Bielenstein
1982: Rita Plaude carried out surface conservation
The painting depicts the events of Chapter 1 of John’s Book of Revelation,
The Book of Revelation in the Bible speaks of the end times that will occur when Christ returns as ruler. John sees an apparition with the triumphant Christ. In this vision, John receives instructions for 7 churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.
In the foreground of the Painting St. John has fallen on the ground as he had seen the miraculous vision depicted according to the description in the first chapter of the New Testament: one like a son of man standing on a cloud, clothed with a long robe with a golden girdle around his breast, white hair and eyes like a flame of fire. In his right hand he holds seven stars but “from his mouth issues a sharp two edged sword”. The figure is enclosed by seven lampstands, thus calling St. John to describe the prophecy of the end times.
I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.