Starting with the sky, we see 13 stones being thrown into the air from whatever force is occurring blow it. We can view this force in several different ways.
- Destruction through war. We might be seeing the end result of pure human nature and the need to overreach and destroy. We are clearly coming from a position of seeing the end of advancement because we see the broken pillars on the left side. Perhaps some ancient weapon being indicated by the destruction, but I feel that is the least likely scenario.
- Natural disaster. This is my personal favorite and what I think makes the most sense. We return to the column of destruction on the right side. We see a vertical explosion and debris raining down. The angle makes me think of a volcanic eruption. In the bottom left, we see what appears to be a small stream. This stream might be water; it might be lawful or might be blood. We might also be looking at a celestial impact. However, I think that is not as likely as we see a directly vertical and downward force. However, another way to look at it is perhaps these stones to do represent celestial rocks falling from the sky.
Next, we see that there are two people. Clearly, they are at some sort of an observation position. It appears that the left figure has his arms crossed and is facing toward the destruction. The second figure is resting against the rocks and is holding a stick or perhaps a measuring device. It appears to me that they are wearing backpacks of some sort. I’m sure that there is some symbolism in that. However, I’m not exactly sure. At the feet of both of them is some sort of stick, it could also be a sword.
I find this picture to be pretty hard to interpret at the same time I am very drawn to it because of the destruction pictured.
I’m not sure of the date of this picture, but it makes me think of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Perhaps the two individuals represent the artist. Dramatic events such as the destruction of a volcanic eruption are excellent sources for art and the long-term telling of the story.