A large apocalyptic scene with dark clouds and the earth being split by red lava dominate the painting. In the foreground on a rocky outcrop people cower while a freed slave stands, arms raised to the sky. The painting is surrounded by a white border with its name and painter at bottom centre.

The Opening of the Sixth Seal Art Print

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This example of grand Romanticism illustrates a section from the Book of Revelations (6:12-17) in which, on the opening by God of the sixth seal on a scroll, the earth is torn apart and mankind descends into disarray. Danby's conspicuous departure from the biblical text is his inclusion of a crouching figure, similar to that adopted as the symbol of the Abolitionist movement, and a standing, liberated slave, who breaks the shackles around his wrists. The slave trade had been discontinued in 1807 in Britain but the bill for the abolition of slavery itself was not passed until 1833.


National Gallery of Ireland Art Prints are the perfect way to have your own masterpiece. Printed on high quality 240gsm Satin paper using Epson Ultrachrome Archival inks, each print have a stated light fastness and image permanence of up to, at least 75 years. In order to preserve the image and prevent unnecessary fading, the print should not be exposed to direct sunlight and its UV rays.

All prints have the title and artist's name printed at the bottom of each reproduction.

Dimensions: 50 x 70 cm (including white border)


Original Painting Information

Francis Danby, Irish, 1793-1851

The Opening of the Sixth Seal, 1828

Oil on canvas, 185 x 255 cm

Purchased, 1871



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