APOCALYPSE, HELL AND DEMONS
IN MEDIEVAL ART
represented Christian culture and values. Depictions of the
apocalypse, fiery furnace, satan and sly demons reached a fever pitch
after the great
of the mid 14th century. The devil and his crafty minions were often
depicted in art, literature and even songs. According to the
Bible, Revelation 14:11 "And the smoke of their torment goes up forever
and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the
beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”
hath no limits, nor is circumscribed
In one self place, for where we are is hell,
And where hell is must we ever be.”
― Christopher Marlowe
Images of hell, death, demons and false prophets produced during the Medieval era were influenced by the devastating plague that swept across Europe during the mid 1300s.
In a culture of
limited literacy symbolic imagery was vital in enlightening the
masses. Byzantine, Gothic and Early Renaissance paintings are
rich in philosophical and Christian symbolism regarding serpents.
the emblem of heathen evil and Satan, the spiritual enemy of mankind.
Saint Michael and Saint George are often depicted battling and slaying
symbolizing their triumph over evil.
Snake - symbolizes Satan; the presence of
evil, fall of man
symbols of the
Snake in a fruit tree - signifies the mans fall from grace as
well as Satan's meddling in the affairs of men.
snake brazenly slithering across the middle of a thoroughfare
or road - symbolizing
the False Prophet leading the way to hell.
A devious serpent
peeking out of a basket, urn or pot
- a spiritual reminder of Satan's presence in unusual places.
Color Red - a symbol of greediness and lust. Denotes sin;
sins of mankind, Satan, original sin; temptation, Judas, Harrowing
of Hell, The Fiery Furnace, Slaughter of the Innocents, the Apocalypse
Goat - symbol of the Devil. Satan
is often depicted as a horned and hoofed goat-like creature.
symbol of the Devil or his henchmen. Satan
is often depicted as a devilish winged creature. The wasp or yellow
jacket is symbolic of Satan's relentless hunt for easily corrupted
souls and backsliders.
Names of Satan
The Meaning of Sacred Symbols in Paintings. Most
prominently featured symbols and their meaning:
Western in Symbols and Signs
in Symbols and Signs>
Adam and Eve
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