In Western history visionaries occur in the two most important mythical frames of reference: as seers in antiquity and as prophets in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Ever since the classical period artists, too, were believed to possess the gift of prophecy. This topos took on renewed relevance in modern art. Many artists saw themselves in the role of prophet, a role already acknowledged for them by their contemporaries. Or else the artists referred to seers and prophets in their works and interpreted these figures and the parts they played anew.