I just finished reading this book (57 pages). What I didn’t know was this:
If you visit the monastery of Dionysiou, you won’t miss the special “Apocalypse” fresco’s, painted 1603 and they are situated in the passage between the Katholikon and the Trapeza. One of the wall-paintings shows what we nowadays recognize as the mushroom cloud of an atomic bomb. It is actually a picture of the bible text of the Book of Revelation (9:1-3):
1 And the fifth angel sounded the trumpet: and I saw a star fall from heaven upon the earth. And there was given to him the key of the bottomless pit.
2 And he opened the bottomless pit: and the smoke of the pit arose, as the smoke of a great furnace. And the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke of the pit.
3 And from the smoke of the pit there came out locusts upon the earth. And power was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
There also a painting of falling stars and an earthquake, showing the Book of Revelation 6:12-15 (in the middle):
12 And I saw, when he had opened the sixth seal: and behold there was a great earthquake. And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair: and the whole moon became as blood.
13 And the stars from heaven fell upon the earth, as the fig tree casteth its green figs when it is shaken by a great wind.
14 And the heaven departed as a book folded up. And every mountain, and the islands, were moved out of their places.
15 And the kings of the earth and the princes and tribunes and the rich and the strong and every bondman and every freeman hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of mountains.
And there is the wall-paintng showing Apocalypse-horseman (Revelation 9:1-8): notice how there eyes are scatched out !
1 And I saw that the Lamb had opened one of the seven seals: and I heard one of the four living creatures, as it were the voice of thunder, saying: Come and see.
2 And I saw: and behold a white horse, and he that sat on him had a bow, and there was a crown given him, and he went forth conquering that he might conquer.
3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying: Come and see.
4 And there went out another horse that was red. And to him that sat thereon, it was given that he should take peace from the earth: and that they should kill one another. And a great sword was given to him.
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying: Come and see. And behold a black horse. And he that sat on him had a pair of scales in his hand.
6 And I heard, as it were a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying: Two pounds of wheat for a penny, and thrice two pounds of barley for a penny: and see thou hurt not the wine and the oil.
7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying: Come and see.
8 And behold a pale horse: and he that sat upon him, his name was Death. And hell followed him. And power was given to him over the four parts of the earth, to kill with sword, with famine and with death and with the beasts of the earth.
The big problem is: THESE PICTURES ARE COPIES !! Some 70 years earlier a German artist Hans Holbein the Younger made these drawings in 1531 for the Zwingli-bible:
The anonimous Greek painter did not only “steal” the picture of the “atombomb-cloud”, but also other images !
So, there is nothing new in this world. Nowadays we use eachothers pictures that we find on the internet, 400 years ago they “borrowed” pictures in the same way!
NB. It it doesn’t make the wall-paintings less beautifull, they still are very worth seeing!
Next time some about the book itself.