Elder of the Apocalypse


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304

This figure can be identified as one of twenty-four elders who surround God’s throne in the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation). The text specifies that they hold harps, but medieval images portray them with a variety of musical instruments, here a viol. Elders never appear as single figures, so this roundel must have been part of a larger, imposing work of art, perhaps an altar, created for the abbey of Conques under Abbot Bégon III (r. 1087–1107).

Elder of the Apocalypse, Copper: gilt; champlevé & cloisonné enamel: black, medium and lavender blue, turquoise, almond green, white and pinkish white, French

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