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Biblical Archaeology Review 48:3, Fall 2022

Epistles: A Thousand Words: Apocalypse Tapestry

Biblical Archaeology Review

Woven in Paris in the 14th century, the Apocalypse Tapestry depicts the events from the Book of Revelation. It is composed of a set of tapestries that together measured 460 feet long. The final book of the New Testament, Revelation prophesies about end times. The apocalyptic events described in it include the judgment of the world and coming of the new heavens and earth. The scene shown here shows the fall of Babylon, full of demons (Revelation 18). Two angels appear at the top of the scene. The left angel tells the Apostle John (pictured at left) of the destruction. The right angel tells God’s people to come out of the wicked city, and four people flee (pictured at right).

Louis I, Duke of Anjou (located in western France), commissioned the tapestry—originally with 90 scenes—around 1380. In 1480, a later duke gave the tapestry to Angers Cathedral. Although parts of the tapestry were destroyed during the French Revolution, much of it survived and was later restored. It can now be viewed at the Castle of Angers.

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