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  • Jean-Francois Podevin

APOCALYPSE: “The opening of the Sixth Seal.”

Then I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned as black as dark sackcloth and the whole moon became like blood.                               

13-The stars in the sky fell to the earth like late figs drop form a fig tree when shaken by strong wind.14-Then the sky receded like a scroll rolling  up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place.                                                                                                                                                                               15-The kings of the earth, the nobles, the generals , the rich, the powerful, and every slave and free person hid themselves in caves and among the rocks of the mountains..                    16-They cried out to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb,                                                       17- because the great day of their  wrath has come and who can withstand it?” *

In 1976, during my scholarship at ESAG Penninghen in Paris, I illustrated a series of images based on the "Apocalypse" of St. John. The last two years of the program were dedicated to completing a master’s thesis. Given this, I needed to select a subject promptly. During a visit to my grandfather Felix Podevin, a renowned Greek scholar who had recently proofread the translation of the Apocalypse, he gave me a copy.

Captivated by its imagery, I decided to make it my thesis topic upon the suggestion of my advisor, Jean-Pierre Alric.

Not being affiliated with any church, I could stray from the dogmatic part of the story and interpret each chapter of the Apocalypse from the viewpoint of a personal  or global crisis. I viewed significant historical events in Christendom, such as the plague, Mongol invasion, Moorish incursions, revolutions, or the World Wars, as apocalyptic scenarios.

Given the limited time for so many  paintings, I devised a technique that was both expedient, expressive  and allowed for corrections.                                                         Experimenting in my father’s studio, I combined Kromekote paper, magic markers, 3M Spray glue, and various printed materials. I used acetone as a solvent to merge and manipulate colors and elements, ensuring a cohesive yet adaptable approach.

The image above is the  first image which I created. It  established the style and technique that would carry me through the project, enabling me to maintain pace with the demanding workload.

*from the  revelation to John, (New Internantional Version) University of Idaho

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