In 1533, hundreds of dragons were reported to darken the skies over Bohemia, following a 1506 sighting of a blinding bright comet slicing over the sky.
Hundreds of dragons flying over Bohemia. Tiber monster. The beast from the bottomless pit. Golden balls. These were apparent signs of the end of the world and in the 1550s, a “scribe and artist chronicled these and other portents of woe” in a book that was rediscovered just a few years ago.
Believing the Catholic Pope was in fact the Antichrist, Protestants in 16th-century Germany (or at the time Swabian Imperial Free City of Augsburg) diligently watched for signs of the Apocalypse and this Renaissance art depicts it all.
The book with its 169 pages and vibrant illustrations was surprisingly intact when it went to auction in 2007 in Munich, and after it was sold to James Faber, a London-based dealer, it was revealed to be even more mysterious than previously believed, and about a century older. Now Taschen has recently published an edition of The Book of Miracles, so anyone can brood over its strange contents. [Hyperallergic]
Check out more 16th century apocalyptic art in the slideshow below:
* Images images from “The Book of Miracles,” courtesy Taschen via Hyperallergic.