Seville Cathedral – Chapter House: Angels with trumpets – An apocalyptic vision of John of Patmos

Angels with Trumpets - Bas-relief on the Chapter House dome in the Seville Cathedral, Andalusia, Spain

Angels with Trumpets – An apocalyptic vision of John of Patmos

Angels with Trumpets
This bas-relief depicts an apocalyptic vision of John of Patmos (believed to be the Apostle John and the author of one of the Gospels) as described in the Book of Revelation authored by him.

Here are the verses from this book that inspired the bas-relief:
Revelation 8: 1-6 – Angels with Trumpets

1. When he broke open the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
2. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
3. Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne.
4. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.
5. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
6. Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.

John sees this vision when the Mystic Lamb opens the seventh seal. In this vision, there is a silence for half an hour, and then seven angels are given trumpets. An angel with a golden censer comes and stands in front of the altar in front of the throne. He fills the censer with incense, and smoke rises from the burning incense as people start praying. The angel fills the censer with fire and throws it on to the earth. Then the angels with trumpets started sounding the trumpet one by one, each time triggering catastrophic events.

As you can see from the image, God is at the center holding the globe surrounded by angels, most carrying the trumpets and one at the bottom holding the censer (a container for burning incense) with his left hand and fire with his right hand.

This is one of the 16 bas-reliefs – eight in the vertical (portrait) format and the other eight in the horizontal (landscape) format – on the vaulted ceiling of the Chapter House dome. The portrait format bas-reliefs were made by Juan Bautista Vázquez el Viejo and Diego de Velasco around 1582-1584. The landscape format bas-reliefs were made by Marcos Cabrera in 1590.

Used as a meeting room of the cathedral chapter, the Sala Capitular (Chapter House) is an ellipse-shaped hall attached to the southeast corner of the Seville Cathedral.

Related Pages
Seville Cathedral: An awe-inspiring architectural marvel
La Giralda: A harmonious blend of Moorish and Renaissance architectural styles
Sala Capitular – The Chapter House of the Seville Cathedral
Sacristía Mayor – The Main Sacristy of the Seville Cathedral

Copyright © 2020 by Lawrence Rodrigues. All rights reserved.

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