The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Removal of the Two Witnesses and the Destruction of the City

Object Details


The Removal of the Two Witnesses and the Destruction of the City






London (probably), England (Place Created)


about 1255–1260


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

Object Number:

Ms. Ludwig III 1 (83.MC.72), fol. 18


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

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Object Description

After three days and a half, the spirit of life from God entered into them. And they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. (Apocalypse 11:11)

The illuminator suggested the resurrection of the two witnesses by depicting two birds breathing life into their mouths and then showing the newly risen prophets ascending to heaven, with their lower bodies disappearing into a great cloud. Soon after their ascension, a great earthquake destroys a tenth of the city, killing many and inspiring fear in those left behind. With this last of the terrible events brought on by the sounding of the sixth trumpet, Saint John in the right margin shields his eyes, expressing his horror at the great devastation.

Harmonies of Heaven and Earth: Musicians and Instruments in Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (January 25 to April 10, 1994)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), January 25 to April 10, 1994