This week’s artwork is a treat that I have been saving for a special occasion. We’ve reached the end of another year without major horseman sightings or planetary core explosions, and also this is SARFT’s 50th post, which is almost as momentous. Thus, I present to you the Fall of the Rebel Angels by Pieter Bruegel.
There is so much going on in the picture, you will see something different every time. The following is just a selection of the first things that caught my eye. It might be a fun New Year’s Day hangover activity to see what different details you observe. If you look at it under the influence of other substances, I take no responsibility for the results.
So let’s begin with the bird-lizard unbuttoning its stomach to reveal a batch of cracking eggs full of blackness.
I think a lot of women would prefer if they could just unbutton the ol’ womb to release their babies. Seems like a lot less mess, anyway. Maybe it was a feature that was removed from humans as punishment for their involvement with the fallen angels.
Looking on at the button-down hatching are a couple of adorable doggies wearing crowns.
There’s also a deformed pig with bad teeth wearing a red bedsheet turban and a crown of thorns laced with pearls. Instead of carrying his knife somewhere inconvenient like a side holster, he keeps it strapped over his eye, in case anyone throws any vegetables at his face sideways.
From there, we move on to an upset-looking lady with disjointed elbows and nothing below her ribcage.
I’m not sure what she’s contributing to the battle. Maybe she has a supersonic scream? I’d be screaming if I was reduced to half a torso and my arms were broken, anyway.
On the warrior side of things, there is the fearsome Sandwich-Board Man.
He seems to have taken design tips from female fantasy armor principles: less is more. By covering his bum and key front bits, a token fragment of chain mail, and some pointless frills off the back of the helmet, he will be totally defended.
But you know what is more fearsome than a scantily clad man with a scimitar? BEES.
A flying tied-up dog-thing in a spiked collar is brutally attacked by a giant moth bearing a killer beehive. HEAVEN’S ULTIMATE WEAPON.
Next to this stinging blow, we have Hell’s Kirby.
With fish fins and beaver teeth, the adorable video game icon is transformed into a horrifying soulless creature that will fly in your window and gnaw you to death before swallowing your bits and absorbing your life force.
Moving along with fishy things, here are a couple of whales with arms locked either in Kama Sutra passion or a death-struggle.
This one was mostly noted because of the horrified human face below them going “OH GOD MUTANT KILLER WHALE FIGHT. OR SEX.”
Next up: a mandolin-lobster.
The armor in the background suggests that robots may also be involved in this battle.
Last but not least, this poor fish-man is desperately trying to defend his basket of innocent baby fishlings, while a “good” angel calmly shield-punches them into oblivion before chopping their heads off.
At least, I assume it’s supposed to be a good angel – it would certainly make a more interesting story if the normal-looking ones were the rebel angels, causing havoc amongst the innocent creatures below. In any case there is a dinosaur skeleton there, suggesting all these creatures once roamed the land and were tragically made extinct. Maybe dinosaurs were actually either rebel angels who suffered divine retribution, or were destroyed by rebel angels running amok. Either way it paints a badass picture of an angel-dinosaur battle. And it's important to learn all theories of how the Earth and its life came to exist or cease to exist.
So that’s what I see. Sadly no one wants to go with me to art museums anymore because they “can’t unsee these things” and “the nightmares last for weeks.” Thus, I have to share these things with you, dear readers. Thank you for reading, and have a happy, apocalypse-free New Year!