The Horsemen on Fire-Breathing Horses

Unknownabout 1255 - 1260

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Saint John describes the warriors summoned to help kill a third of the earth's people as wearing "breastplates of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone." The description of the scene continues, "and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions: and from their mouths proceeded fire, and smoke, and sulphur." (Apocalypse 9:17) The horses kill off multitudes with their mouths and tails, with the bodies and myriad heads of their victims littering the ground beneath the horses' trampling hooves. The entire image conveys a sense of the army's merciless power.

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  • Title: The Horsemen on Fire-Breathing Horses
  • Date Created: about 1255 - 1260
  • Location Created: London (probably), England
  • Physical Dimensions: w22.5 x h31.9 cm
  • Type: Folio
  • Rights: http://www.getty.edu/legal/copyright.html
  • External Link: http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=3349
  • Medium: "Tempera colors, gold leaf, colored washes, pen and ink on parchment"
  • illuminator: Unknown
  • Terms of Use: http://www.getty.edu/legal/copyright.html
  • Subject: Horses, Soldiers, Saint John the Evangelist