Write What You See

dream

John of Patmos is sleeping before he writes his Revelation:

Who’s that writin’? John the Revelator 
Who’s that writin’? John the Revelator 
Who’s that writin’? John the Revelator 
Wrote the book of the seven seals…

…as Son House would sing.  An angel tells him to write what he sees in his dream in a book.  An early use of speech bubbles.  The illustrations of his book, at least in the edition that is preserved in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum at the Cloisters, and known as The Cloisters Apocalypse, begin with events before the crucifixion of Jesus.  In the image below, the top panel shows the Massacre of the Innocents, and the bottom shows The Flight into Egypt.

flight cloisters

A few feet to the left of the case displaying this manuscript was another with the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, opened to show, how thoughtful!, The Flight into Egypt.  No leading angel in the older one, but the newer, about 100 years after the Apocalypse manuscript, keeps the figure of Joseph in his pose of looking back to see that everything is okay.

flight risk

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