This woodcut print is vertically oriented. The upper half of the piece is celestial with an angel standing on a cloud blowing a trumpet. Men on fire-breathing beasts exit from the clouds. At the very top center, a white-bearded figure, shown from the torso to the head, holds four trumpets. Rays emanate from his head to form a halo, and he is framed in a half circle. Directly below him is an altar with vines on the sides and four child-faces spitting water out. The upper right corner features an angel blowing a trumpet and the upper left features a smiling angel with hands clasped in prayer. The lower half of the print is terrestrial and depicts a chaotic battle scene. Four angels with wings and swords attack a crowd of men, including a pope, a bishop and a king, as well as commoners. These figures are all crowded into the foreground with contorted postures. There is a city on a hill visible in the distance. The center bottom has Dürer’s signature of letter "D" contained within a letter "A".
This print is one of 15 woodcuts by Dürer that depicted scenes of the Apocalypse as described by John the Apostle in the Book of Revelations of the New Testament in the Bible (Revelations 9:13-21). Here, following the sounding of the sixth trumpet, four angels were released to kill a third of mankind. Dürer has followed the wording of the text closely, including the four-cornered altar, the trumpeting angel and the horse and riders in the upper (heavenly) section of the work. But, it is in the earthly realm, in the lower section, that he dramatically portrays the death and destruction of mankind described by John. Four warrior angels stand, swinging their swords, amidst dead and fallen figures of men with looks of horror as they are slain.
A remake of the traditional Golgotha crucifixion scene. On the right is a horribly distended figure, hanging precariously from a cross that leans out toward the viewer. He represents the left thief, or, the bad thief. He looks out toward the viewer. At the bottom center is a hooded Mary figure, her face shielded from view. At the far left, another cross contains the regular, "sleeping" form of another crucified man, but without the distention of the first. On the ground between the two is the empty cross of Christ, marked by the INRI signed nailed into its top. Along the center of the image, in the background, a file of viewers move from right to left, one of whom carries a ladder. Clouds can be seen in the sky.
A remake of the traditional crucifixion scene, showing a distended left thief (the bad thief) looking out at the viewer while Christ's cross is empty and the right-hand thief (the good thief) has died a serene death. Viewers in the background walk past.
Signed: Frelaut Signed and dated on plate: Frelaut / 1924 In margin, lower left: 6e etat Collector's stamp, on back: (Lugt 773) Titled, in lower margin: Le Soir du Vendredi Saint Notation in pencil on back: Anselin (J. L.) Grav.
Signed on block, l.c.: V G Inscriptions: Verre filis dei erat isse INRI Example with printed German text on back from one of the editions (1506-09) of "Der Text des passions oder lydens Christi..." publ. by Knobloch, Strassburg.
A group of figures at the left stand in a vaulted space under a cross. They look towards the lower right of the composition where a man holding a standard with a cross on top is bending forward and offering his hand to an old bearded man in an arched doorway. Above the doorway are several fantastical figures with beaked or animal heads and arms with claws.
After his death and before the Resurrection, Christ descended into Hell to bring out righteous people who had lived before him, including Adam and Eve, Moses, and other Old Testament prophets. Here Christ holds a standard in his left hand while he brings out of hell one of these patriarchs with his right hand. Other redeemed figures look on as the man at the lower right is released from Hell.