The J. Paul Getty Museum

Angels Holding the Four Winds and an Angel Signifying Christ

Object Details

Title:

Angels Holding the Four Winds and an Angel Signifying Christ

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

English

Place:

London (probably), England (Place Created)

Date:

about 1255 - 1260

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold leaf, colored washes, pen and ink on parchment

Object Number:

Ms. Ludwig III 1 (83.MC.72), fol. 9

Dimensions:

Leaf: 31.9 × 22.5 cm (12 9/16 × 8 7/8 in.)

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Object Description

After these things, I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, so that they would not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. (Apocalypse 7:1)

The illuminator depicted each angel holding and gagging the heads that traditionally represented the four winds. To the right, an angel descends with a scroll that reads: "Do not hurt the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, until we sign the servants of our God in their foreheads." (Apocalypse 7:3) At the bottom of the scroll is a flaming orb with "the rising of the sun" written above it. In the text the angel is described as "ascending from the rising sun, having the sign of the living God." Thus the angel is usually understood as signifying Christ. The illuminator here made the angel's identity explicit with the label on the far right: iste angelus xp[istu]m significat(this angel represents Christ).