The Coming of the End of the World

Johann Virdung (ca.1465-ca.1535) Practica von dem Entcrist un[d] dem jungsten tag auch was geschehen sal vor dem Ende der welt (Ohne Ort: Speyer, Anastasius Nolt, 1525). Graphic Arts collection GAX 2008- in process

Johann Virdung was a mathematician and astrologer. In the early sixteenth century, he was working at the court of the Elector Palatine and making prognostications, such as this, on the Antichrist and the coming end of the world.

In the compelling title page woodcut, Christ is seen with a sword on the right side of his head and a lily on the left. The lily signifies innocence and mercy. The sword is a symbol of guilt and punishment. Together they represent the final judgment for the poor souls seen below, some being pushed into hell and some being saved.