This medieval tapestry, La Bête de la Mer, is one piece of the Tapisserie de l’Apocalypse in Angers, France, and it illustrates a scene from the Book of Revelation. It shows the beast that comes “out of the sea” being given power and authority (symbolized by the staff) by the dragon who comes “out of the earth” (also called “the false prophet”) to direct the people of earth to worship the first beast, rather than God, and the beasts persecute those who do not worship the image of the beast. On the left stands St. John, thought to be the author of the Book of Revelation, holding a book. The Apocalypse Tapestry was produced in France between 1377 and 1382. For many years the tapestry remained at the Angers Cathedral from 1480 until the French Revolution when it was cut up and used for mundane purposes (floor mats, horse stall insulation, etc.). The pieces of the Tapisserie de l’Apocalypse was recovered In the late 19th Century, the pieces were returned to the Cathedral, then transferred to a new gallery at the Chateau d’Angers in 1954 where it remains. It is 174” long and 110” wide.

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