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Albrecht Dürer.
The Four Avenging Angels.
Woodcut, completed by 1498.
Published in Apocalypsis cum figuris.
Nuremberg: Albrecht Dürer, 1511.

The dynamic power of Dürer’s woodcut technique is evident in this print from the Apocalypse series. The woodcut depicts the sounding of the sixth angel’s trumpet, which released a plague of armed horsemen and four avenging angels from the Euphrates River, all of whom have come to kill one-third of humanity. In Dürer’s highly energetic composition, the heavenly executioners set upon the unrepentant populace with swords slashing in all directions, in the process killing kings, popes, and peasants indiscriminately.