Above the young hero there is a host of angels who show him the weapons of Christ in order to fortify him. The ground is split and in the abyss there are men who abandoned themselves to vices. They make desperate gestures, are surrounded by flames and have to bear the torture of damnation. On high we see the future lying ahead of the hero: there is Christ who rewards the kneeling young man with the crown of the Blessed.
The motif of the painting itself has its origin in the letter of Paul to the Ephesians in the bible: Eph.6, 10-17.
Otto van Veen worked at the court of the prince-bishop of Liège, Gerard von Groesbeck, in Rome, at the Prague Court of Emperor Rudolf II. and at the Munich Court of the Wittelsbacher before he finally came to Cologne in 1583 where he became court painter of the Cologne elector Ernst of Bavaria. More on Otto van Veen
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