The Apocalypse Has Begun – The Secrets of the Vision of the Seven Candlesticks

Copyrigh Dr. Elizabeth Garner  All Rights Reserved

The Seven Candlesticks
The Apocalypse-The Vision of the Seven Candlesticks

Here’s what previous researchers have said about this print:

 “ By consensus, with the notable exception of the Tietze, this sheet is held to be one of the latest or even the last in order of execution.  The rim of puffy clouds marks it as a vision. As in th Quentell illustration, the Lord is seated on one rainbow and rests his feet on another.  In his right had he is holding seven stars, ie., the seven planets known in Dürer’s time.  If at first glance the composition seems to have been taken over from the Quentell woodcut, closer examination reveals SIGNIFICANT CHANGES that make this sheet the high point of the series; uncluttered and direct in its visual impact, it is almost in a category by itself.  By rearrangeing the candlesticks, Dürer has achieved a degree of three-dimensionality worlds apart from the Quentell illustration.  Because St. John is place behind the candlestick in the foreground, he appears to have been drawn into the vision, to have become an integral part of it. ONCE MORE DÜRER HAS PAID CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE TEXT; THE LORD HAS BEEN ENDOWED WITH FLAMING EYES AND A BELT, ALBEIT AROUND HIS WAIST, not his chest as the text has it [now this has to be one of the stupidest sentences ever written]. THE RADIANCE OF THE Lord’s countenance has been ACCENTUATED BY A NUMBUS OF RAYS, AND THE POMMEL OF HIS SWORD SEEMS LIKE A SEAL JUST MOVED ASIDE HIS LIPS.  A LANDSCAPE, VIRTUALLY OBLIGATORY IN THE EARLY SHEETS, HAS BEEN OMITTED. In all respects, Dürer has here concentrated his attention in essentials.

The candlesticks bear some resemblance to the one in Schongauers’s engravings “ The Death of the Virgin”; St. John’s head is akin to the of the PRODIGAL SON. To ease the work of the form-cutter, crosshatching has been kept to a minimum, and the parallel hatching proves very effective even in the intricate and magnificent folds of the draperies.

The scriptural passages which follow this one explain that the seven candlesticks denote THE SEVEN LEVANTINE churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Permagon, Thyatira, Sarids, Laodicea, and Philadelphia.  It is now widely believed that the Apocalypse was not written by the author of the gospels, but by another John of whom tradition speaks as living in Ephesus toward the end of the first and the beginning of the second century.”[1]

WHAT DOES REVELATIONS SAY?

Here’s the passages from Revelations 1:10-17 that are represented in this print:

“I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day [which in Judaism would be the Sabbath], and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying “Write in a book what YOU SEE  and send it to the seven churches, to Ehpeseus, to Smyran, to pergamum, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.  Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and on turning I saw SEVEN GOLDEN LAMPSTANDS (AKA KNOWNAS A MENORAH), and in the midst of the lampstands, I saw one like the Son of Man (which we already know is Ezekiel-so the whole Christian concept of the Son of Man has been bastardized), clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash across his chest.  His head and his hair were white as wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters.  In his right hand he held seven stars and from his mouth came a sharp TWO-EDGED sword, and his face was like the sun shining with full force.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living one.  I was dead, and see, I am alive forever; and I have the keys of Death and of Hades.  Now write what you have seen, what is, and what is to take place after this.  As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands; the seven stars are the angels from the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.”

 WHAT IS THIS PRINT REALLY ABOUT?

 

Revelations in the Coat of Arms
This is very a bogus coat of arms for the family crest of the Kress family. This crest depicts an open barred helmet which was only reserved for nobles. the Kresses were not originally nobles

The Kresses von Kressenstein were one of the families that bought their non-noble ministerial titles  from the Hungarian King Sigismund, just like the Holzschüher and the Hallers, the Stromers, etc. did. The original coat of arms was merely a sword.

The source of the Kress wealth came from trade with Venice-first of all cloth (middle range cloth-brocades and taffeta), spices, Pearls, silks, sugar, cotton, soap, then the almost exclusive trade of silver and silverplate and Baltic amber to Venice.

WHAT MADE THEM RICH?

The source of the Kress wealth came from trade with Venice-first of all cloth (middle range cloth-brocades and taffeta), spices, Pearls, silks, sugar, cotton, soap, then the almost exclusive trade of silver and silverplate and Baltic amber to Venice.

SILVER was the mainstay of the Kress fortune and here we have seven candlesticks.  Historians have apparently always assumed GOLD candlesticks NOT SILVER, exactly what Dürer would want-an obvious clue, hidden in plain sight that no one would detect.  There is no way to prove that these candlesticks ARE GOLD OR SILVER and that’s where Dürer’s genius lies-for this CAN be silver candlesticks.

Let’s first take a look at the Revelations plotline vs. what is and is NOT in this composition.  There is NO indication of a loud voice like a trumpet saying anything.  The loud voice commands John to WRITE in a book but what we see is the central figure holding a book THAT IS ALREADY WRITTEN UPON and the words run off of the pages and all the pages are filled.  St. John has not written anything.  St John supposedly turns and sees seven golden lampstands.  We can’t actually be sure that these lampstands are golden; they could be silver, all we can tell is that they are metal.

WHAT IS LEFT OUT?

Let’s first take a look at the Revelations plotline vs. what is and is NOT in this composition.  There is NO indication of a loud voice like a trumpet saying anything.  The loud voice commands John to WRITE in a book but what we see is the central figure holding a book THAT IS ALREADY WRITTEN UPON and the words run off of the pages and all the pages are filled.  St. John has not written anything.  St John supposedly turns and sees seven golden lampstands.  We can’t actually be sure that these lampstands are golden; they could be silver, all we can tell is that they are metal.

The Man’s hair is long, curly , he is bearded but not mustached but it IS NOT AS WHITE AS WOOL OR SNOW-it’s regular darkish hair.  The face of flame is NOT a face of flame; it is actually the MASK of the Jewish Sol Invictus, described below.

We will see in great detail that “the Son of Man” in the Hebrew bible was the prophet Ezekiel from which much of this Apocalypse story is plagiarized.  The Man is clothed in a long robe but he does NOT have a golden sash ACROSS HIS CHEST.  What he DOES have is a BELT at his WAIST, which we describe later on.  The man’s feet are supposed to be like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters.  In his right hand he held seven stars and from his mouth came a sharp TWO-EDGED sword.  We see two feet showing from underneath his robe but there’s no indication that these feet are shiny or gleaming or anything shiny-so we don’t know if they are burnished like bronze.  There’s NO indication about the man’s voice or whether it has the sound of many waters.

THE STARS-IT’S ALWAYS INTHE STARS

The Pleiades - Starts in the seven candlesticks
The PLEIADES

He supposedly HOLDS seven stars in his right hand, but Dürer depicts seven stars in front of an open right hand palm.  The REAL meaning of the seven stars can be found in the Jewish Bible Prophet Amos 5:8: He who made the Pleiades and Orion and turns darkness into morning, and day as He darkens as night; He who calls the water of the sea and pours it out on the face of the earth, the Lord is His Name.  “These stars are mentioned because through them the grain is preserved in their seasons.  He did not mention the sun and the stars since, in Jewish time reckoning, they rule all year and they are necessary for the world and its judgment (Job 38:31) “ Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion?”  The Rabbis’ state that the Pleaides possess extreme cold and they harden the fruits. In contrast, Orion possesses extreme heat and softens the fruits. They state also that the Pleiades are the tail of Aries.

The Pleaides PERVERT JUSTICE TO DO EVIL AND DO NOT REMEMBER the One who changes these things WITH JUSTICE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WORLD AND ITS PRESERVATION.  Likewise, He changes the times from day to night and vice versa for the benefit of the world.

Dürer is telling us that the Patrician that is represented in this composition PERVERTS JUSTICE AND DOES EVIL as badly as the Pleiades, as we remember that The Son of Man, Ezekiel IS NOT holding the seven stars; the seven stars are in FRONT of his open hand.  Thus, Kress perverts justice and does evil as he also built his mansion on desecrated Jewish land.

THE SWORD

There IS a sword that is touching the lips of the Man-it’s a regular sword, with no special distinction about it.  A sword has two edges but this sword can NOT be determined whether it is SHARP OR NOT-probably not.

John is supposed to have fallen at his feet as if DEAD, BUT THIS JOHN is fully clothed, he isn’t prostrate as if dead at the feet of the Man and the right hand of the Man (which has stars in front of it) is not placed upon John.  There is NO indication that the Man talks to John and the MAN DOESN’T have the keys of Death or of Hades.  And there’s no indication that  the seven stars represents angels of the churches or that the lampstands stand for the seven churches. Again, the man holds the BOOK that is written upon in his left hand and it is open-everything is ALREADY WRITTEN DOWN.

WHAT’S REALLY THERE HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT

Let’s look at what’s in the picture.  First, this is one of the sparsest compositions that Dürer makes in the Apocalypse.  In the center we have a figure that is sitting on what is supposed to be a rainbow and then there’s a second rainbow upon which he rests his feet.  The man has very long hair, a very long beard, but NO MOUSTACHE and yet we see that there’s something on each side of his nose.  This shows that what is on the man’s face is a mask. Here are 3 sets of black emanations coming out of the man’s head.  There is a sword that is touching the lips of the man and extends downward to the right of the picture that is not held up by anything or his hands.

The man is wearing a plain robe that is belted at the waist.  The belt has a somewhat ornate buckle and there are five rosettes that are showing on the belt.  Underneath the robe, we can see the right sleeve  with the right hand outstretched.  The sleeve of the undergarment has embroidery on it and two buttons.  There are 7 six-pointed stars that are in front of the man’s outstretched hand that are twinkling or sparkling.

THE SOL INVICTUS MASK

Saturnalia was an ancientroman festival  in honor of Saturn, held on December 17 of the and later expanded with festivities through December 23. The holiday was celebrated with a sacrifice at the temple of Saturn, in the Roman forum, and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms: gambling was permitted, and masters provided table service for their slaves. The poet Catullus called it “the best of days.”

Saturnalia is a festival of light leading to the winter solstice, with the abundant presence of candles symbolizing the quest for knowledge and truth. The renewal of light and the coming of the new year was celebrated in the  at the Dies natal is of Sol Invictus, the “Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun,” on December 25. HENCE CHRISTMAS. The popularity of Saturnalia continued into the third and fourth centuries AD, and as the Roman Empire came under Christian rule, some of its customs may have influenced the seasonal celebrations surrounding Christmasand the New Year

 JEWS AND THE SOL INVICTUS MASK

Why the mask of the sun in this print? At the remains of many synagogues in the Holy land and in Byzantium, the Sol Invictus is a common theme in Jewish iconography for synagogue decoration.   This describes a typical representation of the mosaic Sol Invictus found in the archaelogical digs.

Here’s a description of a typical example of mosaics of the Sol Invictus found in the ancient synagogues:

 

Beit Alpha synagogue
The Sol Invictus found in mosaics at ancient Beit Alpha synagogue

“As at Naaran, the center circle contains Sol Invictus and a four horse chariot. It is in a particularly abstract style. The head and forelegs of the horses are visible, two on either side of the chariot. Sol wears a crown of rays and is surrounded by the moon and stars. Only his head and neck are shown. Beneath is a square covered with curving colored stripes, perhaps representing the rainbow colors seen at dawn and dusk. The square is probably Sol’s chariot, not his torso, since it is attached to small wheels./102/ The third panel, next to the apse and the aron, is a panel of Jewish symbols like Naaran’s, but more elaborate. The Ark is flanked not only by menorahs but also by lions, palm fronds, citron-fruits, ram’s horn trumpets or shofars, and square objects usually identified as incense shovels and shrubs. Drawn curtains frame the whole scene. The Ark itself has acroteria, and a gable with birds running up the sides. Probably the real Ark stood in the apse just behind this panel.

Marianos and Hanina made their mosaic in a rather idiosyncratic “Oriental” style. It particularly resembles Palmyrene art in its frontality and in the line outlining the brow and nose of human faces. Sol is especially non- classical. But their work is by no means as childlike or primitive as is sometimes stated. They were skilled and imaginative artists, and produced an impressive work of art.”

the 1499 Sol Justiciae

Dürer used this Jewish Sol Invictus mask for the print about the death of his JEWISH brother Peter in Sol Justiciae, but in this case, the mask of the Sun on this figure with a Kress von Kressenstein coat of arms sword at his mouth indicates that THIS figure is connected with JEWS somehow and that connection was silver and amber.

JEWS AND SILVER:

Two priceless hoards of Jewish medieval jewelry and coins were found.Some of the jewelry, which dates back to the 14th century, was discovered in Jewish communities in Germany and France. Among the most impressive jewelry pieces on display at London’s Wallace Collection are three of the earliest known examples of Jewish wedding ringsThe items were apparently buried by families during the Black Death, when Jews were blamed for the spread of the plague.

Stephen Duffy, of the Wallace Collection stated: “The items are very rare and unusual survivors from the medieval period. This is not simply an exhibition of treasures, There is also a very poignant element as these items were almost certainly buried by Jewish families at a time when they feared death or expulsion.” The exhibition, named “Treasures of the Black Death,” brings together two hoards of medieval gold and silver jewelry. The first was found hidden in the wall of a house in Colmar, France, in 1863. The second part of the display was found buried in Erfurt, not far from Nuremberg, Germany in 1998, near Europe’s oldest synagogue.

The wedding rings feature a house, symbolizing the home that the couple would build together and the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The inscription reads: “Mazal Tov, or “good fortune” in Hebrew.

Jewish medieval wedding ring

The exhibition’s curator, Karin Sczech, noted that the overall weight in silver of the Erfurt discoveries was 30kg, but no price could be placed on the collection.  She added: “It is impossible to put a value on such unique objects.”

At the height of the Bubonic Plague in 1349, almost 1,000 Jews were killed in Erfurt in one day. The Jewish population was wiped out and the Erfurt synagogue abandoned. It was subsequently used by the Nazi party as a dance hall.

JEWS AND AMBER:

Here’s the connection of amber to the Jews:

 

AMBER

The intersection of two medieval trade routes, from Prague to the Crimea, and the Amber Road from the Baltic to southern Europe, the 13th-century square marks the open center of a geometric checkerboard of streets that describes the old city of Cracow. The Arabs, Jews and Byzantine merchants had been trading in amber with western Europe since the Vikings.

The Slavs of Novgorod, the most important trading centre on the Amber route, invited Swedish adventurers under their chief Rurik, called the Varangians, to rule their city and strengthen it militarily, in the 8th century.  The Varangians brought the surrounding territory under their control, even as far as Kiev on the Dnepr, where they expelled the Jewish Khazars. In 880, they formed a state with its capital at Kiev, which controlled the important trade route from the Baltic to Constantinople. This route went from eastern Sweden through the Gulf of Finland to Lake Ladoga via the Neva, then down the Volchov to Novgorod. The route crossed the swamps and joined the Dnepr at Smolensk, which it followed past Kiev to the Black Sea near Odessa.

And so, Dürer shows his contempt for a Patrician family that started off as serfs, became Patrician only from Hungarian largesse (and greed), and a family that ripped away the lucrative amber and silver trade from the Jews.


[1] Strauss, Walter, The Woodcuts and Woodblocks of Albrecht Dürer, Abaris Books, New York, 1980, pg 201.

[2] http://www.smoe.org/arcana/diss5.html

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