Revelation in Art

Experience Revelation put to art as Dr. David Reagan interviews Pat Marvenko Smith on the show Christ in Prophecy.

Last aired on February 27, 2011.

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Dr. Reagan: The foremost illustrator of the book of Revelation is a lady from Pennsylvania by the name of Pat Marvenko Smith. We are delighted to have her as our special guest on this program. For an introduction to her and her wonderful art, stay tuned.

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Part 1

Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus our blessed hope and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. I am delighted to have in the studio with me a very gifted Christian artist by the name of Pat Marvenko Smith. She has a ministry called Revelation Illustrated and through that ministry she supplies illustrations of the book of Revelation to ministries and churches all over the world. Pat welcome to Christ in Prophecy.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Well, thank you it is a real pleasure to be here and just blessed to be here to present this.

Dr. Reagan: I understand this is your first time to ever be in the state of Texas.

Pat Marvenko Smith: First time ever, yes.

Dr. Reagan: Well, welcome to God’s country.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Well, thank you very much.

Dr. Reagan: Well, Pat I want you to give us some more information about you and your ministry in just a moment. But first I want to just start right off by introducing people to your marvelous art. Now the moment we show them a picture I am sure about 2/3 of all the viewers will say, “Oh, yeah, I recognize that.”

Pat Marvenko Smith: They have seen it.

Dr. Reagan: Because your pictures have been distributed so far and wide all over the world by so many ministries.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Praise God.

Dr. Reagan: But they will not know that you are the one who painted them. On the other hand there is going to be some people watching who have never seen your pictures. So I want to introduce everybody to your art right up front and I want to do so by having you explain to us my favorite of all your pictures and that is one that you drew of the Throne Room of God based upon Revelation 4 and 5.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: Tell us about that picture.

Pat Marvenko Smith: This picture is such an amazing view of the throne scene in Heaven when the apostle John is taken up through the door in the book of Revelation. And he sees the throne surrounded by emerald what looked like a rainbow like an emerald and carnelian which we know are a green and red stone and these things are so symbolic. But on each side there are the elders and the creatures around the throne, the seven bowls of the seven spirits. And there it is just an awesome picture to imagine, when you read it, it is so hard for people to imagine especially the creatures with all the eyes, and it sounds so strange. But to illustrate it was another thing it was very strange to illustrate that.

Dr. Reagan: Was this one of your earliest illustrations?

Pat Marvenko Smith: This is one of the earlier ones, yes. And can I just tell a quick story about how, what happened to me when I was doing this?

Dr. Reagan: Okay.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Something really amazing, when I started to do this picture I wanted some kind of, beside the Scripture to inspire me. I fill, when I illustrate I like to use music, I went to the library to find classical music or something to listen to and I brought home a CD or I think at the time it was only a record, because this was a while ago. And I put it on, it was Handel’s Messiah and I had no idea, I really had no idea it was so long ago, I had no idea that Handel used much of Revelation in his Messiah. And I started illustrating with faces of all these little tiny angels and they were signing and here is the Handel’s Messiah saying, “Worthy is the Lamb.” And using the exact scripture that I was illustrating, I just got chills I knew that the Lord was inspiring me at that point.

Dr. Reagan: Well those are some of the greatest scenes of worship in all the Bible, in Revelation 4 & 5.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Absolutely.

Dr. Reagan: And this one, as we say in Texas, it blessed my socks off, and continues to do so to this day.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Praise God.

Dr. Reagan: I can hardly wait until the day I am able to personally see this glorious throne room. Well I just want you to take a moment now to tell us what was your motivation to start illustrating the book of Revelation? Nobody else has ever done this, I mean illustrated all the way through, maybe a few pictures here or there. What motivated you to do that?

Pat Marvenko Smith: I was actually it was necessity is the mother of invention. I was asked to teach a Sunday school class. I had actually I had recently rededicated my life and talents to the Lord after growing up in the church and I felt I needed a closer walk with the Lord. I rededicated my life and my talents and that is an important thing to do. I asked Him to use what He had gifted me with for His glory. And I thought I am going to get a call, because I have been a commercial artist for all my adult life and I thought I was going to get a commission from maybe a Christian publishers or whatever. But I was asked to teach a Sunday school class at our church. And I hesitated about that because it was for teenagers, and I wasn’t sure I could teach teenagers. At the time my kids were only six or seven years old so I wasn’t sure I could deal with teenagers. But I took the class and the first thing they wanted to study was Revelation.

Dr. Reagan: Oh, my.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Of course, naive that I was I said, “Sure we’ll see what we can do.” I started to read through it and realized that it such a visual book. It is actually one vision after another.

Dr. Reagan: Exactly.

Pat Marvenko Smith: And each vision contains the message so I was able to visualize that as I was reading it so clearly in my mind as a visual person. And I realized I needed to get visual teaching materials, went out looking for them in bookstores, Christian bookstores, nobody had anything like that. And I was just amazed, and frustrated to the point I did the illustrations for my Sunday school class.

Dr. Reagan: So you actually began this process of illustration to work with a group of 15 or 16 teenagers.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: What a blessing to them.

Pat Marvenko Smith: And there grown and have families now and still remember it and tell me.

Dr. Reagan: Well did the word spread about these incredible illustrations and other people come to class?

Pat Marvenko Smith: Yeah we had some of the adults pop in every once in a while to see what was happening, what illustration was going on.

Dr. Reagan: Do you know what this reminds me of? When I was growing up the only version of the Bible we had was the King James Version and I did not enjoy reading it because to me it was like trying to read Shakespeare and I just couldn’t understand it, it turned me off. And when I was a freshman in college my parents sent me a copy of the J.B. Phillips Paraphrase of the New Testament and the Bible just came alive. I started, I couldn’t put it down. And I found out later on that during World War II J.B. Phillips was asked to teach a group of teenagers and as he taught them they didn’t like reading the Bible. So what he did each week he would assign them a chapter and he would paraphrase it and they loved it, and he took that whole paraphrase together and that was the origin of the book.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Aren’t teenagers wonderful they have inspired so many things?

Dr. Reagan: Well let me ask you at what point did you actually begin to put this in the form of a business ministry, slash ministry where you started putting these out all over the world.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Well our minister said to me, “You know Pat,” after I had finished the whole series. He said, “You know this is something that you need to get out there because I have never seen anything like it in all my years of preaching.” And he said, “It is so accurate to the Scripture, you need to put it out in a form that people can use.” And I had no idea how I was going to do that. My husband had been laid off from US Steel for about 18 months at that point. Our unemployment was running out, we had no money, we had gone through savings and I said, “Well Lord if you want me to do something with this you are going to have to provide.” We stepped out in faith and we put together a whole series of prints, went to a printer. I called about ten printers in the Pittsburgh area where we are from and got one that gave me the best price and he happened to be a Christian. And so we started that way, printing.

Dr. Reagan: You put this together in slides did you?

Pat Marvenko Smith: At first we did, we took it to churches for about 10 years my husband and I traveled with our two boys, we had twin boys, traveled 7 different states and Canada too. And just to churches every week, almost every day of the week for a while. But eventually we did put that into a video that was for a while.

Dr. Reagan: Yes and that was just a few years ago that you put the video out, wasn’t it?

Pat Marvenko Smith: Right, it was about 12 years ago now.

Dr. Reagan: Okay, that long, okay. Well now how many pictures have you drawn so far illustrating the book of Revelation?

Pat Marvenko Smith: Fourty.

Dr. Reagan: Fourty, wow.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Fourty-one.

Dr. Reagan: That’s right you’ve got a new one.

Pat Marvenko Smith: That’s right I did a new one, but it’s not in print it’s just in a CD.

Dr. Reagan: You know one of the things that is so great about your series is that you simply illustrate what the book of Revelation says without any interpretation.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Right.

Dr. Reagan: And so your pictures can be used by people of all view points.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Exactly.

Dr. Reagan: Whether they are Post-millennial, whether they are Pre-millennial, Amillennial, don’t know the difference in a millennium or a centipede. They can use your pictures.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Yes and they have been used by all Christian denominations to this point.

Dr. Reagan: And of course pictures speak across cultural lines, they speak across language lines, so I would imagine they are used by people all over the world.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Exactly, people who don’t even speak English, I have been able to ship to.

Dr. Reagan: You told me that you get letters that you have to get translators to translate for you because you don’t know what they are saying.

Pat Marvenko Smith: That’s right, especially e-mail now that we are on the Internet.

Dr. Reagan: Right, well that is something. Now are there any remaining illustrations of the book of Revelation that you yet have to do?

Pat Marvenko Smith: Well I know there is a lot in between, minor things, nothing is minor when it is talking about Scripture but I think I have illustrated the major points of Revelation so that people can take that and teach all the way through with sufficient visuals, a lot more than was out there before. So there may be some things in between but at this point I haven’t been inspired to do them.

Dr. Reagan: Okay, well now what I want to do in a few moments we are going to take just a brief break, and what I want to do in a few moments is come back and start going through the book of Revelation showing you some of at least my favorite pictures and having you comment on them and tell us about the picture and the background of them, okay?

Pat Marvenko Smith: Sure, okay.

Dr. Reagan: Alright, just a moment.

Part 2

Dr. Reagan: Welcome back to our interview of Pat Marvenko Smith who is considered to be Christendom’s foremost illustrator of the book of Revelation. Her illustrations are used worldwide by churches and ministries to illustrate the teaching and preaching of Revelation. Pat let’s take a look here now at some more of your illustrations. And perhaps the one that is best known that I see everywhere on the Internet and publications and everything else is the one of the Second Coming of Jesus.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Yes, good things.

Dr. Reagan: Tell us about this marvelous picture.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Yes this is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, from Chapter 19 in Revelation. And this one, this is, He is coming back on the white horse in victory with the saints behind Him and the crowns on His head, He is crowned with many crowns. There is just a lot of symbolism in this picture it is such a powerful picture.

Dr. Reagan: Speaking about symbolism what is this coming out?

Pat Marvenko Smith: The sword is the Word of God and when I read that Scripture I thought, “Wouldn’t that look funny with a sword sticking out of your mouth.” But I tried to make it so it symbolic, so I tried to make it so it is just a symbol of the Word and it isn’t real funny looking. And you don’t see it at first until you look closely, then you can follow the line right up to His mouth, and it is the Word. But this picture, a funny story His face when I first did it I was unhappy with the face and I did it and then I white it out and did it again. And then my husband was just about to shoot the pictures of it, when we used a copy stand, he was just about to shoot the pictures of it and I said, “Wait, it’s still not right.” He is a very patient man. And so I went in and changed it for the third time, then I realized after I thought about it there are three separate faces.

Dr. Reagan: Three separate faces?

Pat Marvenko Smith: In that picture, but you can’t always see the one. But I thought that is symbolic too, isn’t it? How the Lord would inspire me to do that.

Dr. Reagan: Yeah, that is really something. Well I tell you even have the people in the background coming on their horses. And I’ve got a good friend, Don Perkins who is a full-time Bible prophecy minister, only black full-time prophecy minister in the United States, in San Diego and he says he already has his horse named.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Wow, okay. Okay.

Dr. Reagan: Let me ask you a question, you have done 40 illustrations, 41 of the book of Revelation. Do you have a personal favorite?

Pat Marvenko Smith: I like a lot of them, that one we just looked at is one, The Emerald Throne, but my favorite I think is the one called, Through the Gate. And Through the Gate, is a picture of, as the–

Dr. Reagan: That one.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Yes, as the city foursquare comes down out of Heaven, John talks that he is brought by the angel to measure the city and then he takes him, the angel takes John into the city to see into one of the gates that is open. Each gate was a single pearl.

Dr. Reagan: Yes.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Which is hard to imagine, but God can do anything. So it must have been huge, so what I did was take all the Scriptures in the Bible that I could find about Heaven.

Dr. Reagan: Okay.

Pat Marvenko Smith: And I put them all onto this one picture, it is a place of many mansions, and so I thought, “Well, Okay.”

Dr. Reagan: Golden mansions.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Golden mansions, the street was of gold, transparent gold, and the water of life runs down the middle. The tree of life, I was surprised when, you know when you read something you picture it one way, but then when you have to illustrate it, you read it much more carefully. The Tree of Life was on both sides of the river and then I realized it is not one tree.

Dr. Reagan: No it is a type of tree.

Pat Marvenko Smith: It is a type of tree, and I put that on both sides of the river. So I learned a lot, illustrating you learn a lot. But so this is the most wonderful glorious hope that we have, is that we know when we go here there will be no more crying, no more tears.

Dr. Reagan: Amen, amen.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Maybe tears of joy, but–And there will be no more night. So it is a wonderful, glorious, this is the hope as you get to the end it ends well.

Dr. Reagan: Right, now you keep talking about symbolism and to me one of the most symbolic pictures that you have painted in this series is the one of the twi witnesses who will be testifying in the first three-and-a-half years of the Tribulation in the city of Jerusalem.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: That is a very symbolic picture, talk to us about some of the symbolism there.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Right, well the Scripture says and this is how I illustrated it; these are the two witnesses who are the two olive trees, and the two lamp stands. I thought how can witnesses be olive trees, so there is a lot of symbolism in there, but so when I illustrated it, if you look at the picture carefully you can see that the witnesses actually sort of blend into the trunk of the tree as it goes up and there is also the–

Dr. Reagan: Menorahs.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Menorahs, yeah, and this is also one of my favorites too just for the illustration factor, value of it too.

Dr. Reagan: What are you showing in the center and down below there?

Pat Marvenko Smith: This is the temple, there is also, this is the time when the temple was measured too, they say the measuring rod and then the Ark of the Covenant is shown is in the center of the temple in this picture. There was also something else about the witnesses, I know that many people interpret them as being in different ways, I personally think that it is Moses and Elijah because of the way it speaks about the Scripture about them shutting up the heavens which Elijah did, and about the–I forget what it was about Moses, it has been a long time since I have taught this book. But they seem to be, but there are other people in Scripture.

Dr. Reagan: When you start illustrating something like that do you just get a clear vision in your mind what you are going to do?

Pat Marvenko Smith: Sometimes I do right away as soon as I read the Scripture, it just I can close my eyes and I can picture it. And then sometimes some part of it will come to me. Sometimes it is very difficult, I know the one that was like that was in chapter 13 of the beast, I had a hard time with that.

Dr. Reagan: Oh, yes.

Pat Marvenko Smith: I will honestly will just pray, and every time I did an illustration of course I would pray first that God would lead me to exactly how He wanted. I felt such a responsibility because you will retain a picture much longer then when you hear anything you read and so I really felt a responsibility to my students at that time to illustrate it exactly as God wanted it. And so I would pray about it and then I would sometimes go to sleep and wake up in the middle of the night and I would have, I would know exactly how it was to be.

Dr. Reagan: Now one of your illustrations I thought was particularly effective, but one that is not a happy illustration because after all you are illustrating the book of Revelation here, it is talking about the Great Tribulation, was this one here, it is a illustration of the bowls of wrath and I thought it was just incredible the way you laid this out and illustrated each of the ones. Tell us about that particular one.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Right, and the picture goes clockwise from the bowl in the center as it is mentioned in the Scripture, each of the bowls as they are poured out. So it starts out with the sword, break out, the terrible boils, and then the sea turned to blood, and the streams the drinking water turns to blood and the scorching sun that burns people and then the–

Dr. Reagan: Darkness.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Darkness, yeah, over the throne of the beast. The three help me here, I don’t remember now the three evil spirits that come across the Euphrates.

Dr. Reagan: Yes.

Pat Marvenko Smith: And there are also the hailstones, huge 100 pound hailstones falling from. So it is very graphically, very visually, you can see what the Scripture says right there.

Dr. Reagan: It is the best illustration I have ever seen of the bowls of wrath.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Thank you.

Dr. Reagan: It is really, really good. Pat, you know you mentioned something just a few moments ago that is very important and I know, I spent the first 20 years of my life as an University teacher before I went into the ministry and I know from experience that you can greatly increase the retention of any student through illustrations.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Right.

Dr. Reagan: They will remember 50% more and longer if you can illustrate it to them in some way.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Right.

Dr. Reagan: These illustrations are so valuable in teaching the Word of God I want to try to get them out to as many people as possible as quickly as possible because I think the Lord is coming soon. And what I would like for you to do right now is look right into that camera in front of you and tell people how they can get in touch with you and tell them particularly about the CD and the video. Okay.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Alright, we do have a CD, well we have a CD with all the artwork there are 40 illustrations on that CD from the whole book of Revelation. And then we have, and that is available for like PowerPoint for teaching, we also have a DVD that is almost like a movie of Revelation and it takes these pictures and we just put it to music with narration right from the Scriptures, and it has some special effects that were added and animations and things like that.

Dr. Reagan: How long does the video run?

Pat Marvenko Smith: It’s just under an hour.

Dr. Reagan: Under an hour.

Pat Marvenko Smith: And at the end there is a little interview with me.

Dr. Reagan: And music by the Pittsburgh Sympathy Orchestra.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Yes, we were so blessed to get. They didn’t use complete orchestra, there were 20 musicians from the orchestra and they did it in triplicate, like they over tapped.

Dr. Reagan: Now both the CD and the DVD can be ordered directly from your website, tell people you website address.

Pat Marvenko Smith: They can, it is all one word.

Dr. Reagan: And if they want to get in touch with you personally can they do that through the website?

Pat Marvenko Smith: They can do that through the website there is a contact on there and now we just have a small business, out of our home, it’s my husband and I. So if you hear from us or get an e-mail from us, it is usually me or my husband sending you an e-mail so it is very personal. We also have a phone number that is an 800 number that I could give if you wanted a free brochure or anything like that. It is: 1-800-327-7330, and you can either place an order or ask for a free brochure if you don’t have access to the internet you can do that.

Dr. Reagan: And folks I really want to really encourage you to go to her website called because you will find in addition to the CD and the video you are going to find all kinds of materials there that you can get. Illustrations, large framed illustrations the whole thing. And you will find these to be wonderful as an aid in teaching the book of Revelation. Well several years ago we took all of your illustrations and some of your video and we produced a video that goes chapter by chapter through the book of Revelation and we entitled it Revelation Revealed, and what we want to do now if pause for just a moment and show you how you can get a copy of this particular video that we produced.

Part 3

Dr. Reagan: Welcome back to my interview with Pat Marvenko Smith who is considered to be Christendom’s foremost illustrator of the book of Revelation. Pat I would like to turn our attention for a moment to artwork that you have done that does not relate specifically to the book of Revelation. And one of your newest paintings is one I was really excited to see. In the book of Revelation there is no specific mention of the Rapture of the Church.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Right.

Dr. Reagan: As I teach the book of Revelation I try to point out that I believe there is a symbolic type of the Church in chapter 4 when John is taken up to Heaven, but it’s not called that.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Right.

Dr. Reagan: And you were faithful to go through and just illustrate what is specifically stated. But you recently produced an absolutely fabulous picture of the concept of the Rapture. Before we talk about the picture tell us first of all how did you happen to do this?

Pat Marvenko Smith: Well, actually I had been asked for many years by different customers, “Do you have an illustration on the Rapture?” And I hadn’t had time to get to one, so I was commissioned to do one, so that was like the Lord saying.

Dr. Reagan: Who commissioned you?

Pat Marvenko Smith: I was commissioned by ABC New Productions, in New York.

Dr. Reagan: ABC News?!

Pat Marvenko Smith: Yeah.

Dr. Reagan: What are they interested in the Rapture for?

Pat Marvenko Smith: Well the production company that is of ABC also produces video and television programs for Discovery. Which I didn’t know, and now I know. And they were putting together a program on the Rapture.

Dr. Reagan: Oh.

Pat Marvenko Smith: They were just going to explore all the different Christian views of it. And so they called me and they said, the producer said, “We need a picture of the Rapture and we saw your website and we love your art and we feel that you could do it.” And I said, “Yeah, okay.” She said, “And we need it in two weeks.”

Dr. Reagan: Two weeks.

Pat Marvenko Smith: In two weeks. I said, “Are you sure, is there–” “No, we have a very strict schedule, and we have to have it in two weeks. If you can have it for us we will fly you here, you will go on the program.” I said, “I will have it done in two weeks.” And I did.

Dr. Reagan: Well I tell you something it had to be inspired by God because this is really something, and tell us about the picture.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Okay, well if you look at the picture it goes, and a lot of my illustrations are like that because you read left to right, this is how I have it. And as it starts out when it talks about, and this is from of course 1 Thessalonians 4, as we know. And the dead in Christ are raised first and meet with Christ in the air. And as you go along, and then we who are left alive will be taken with Him. And that is where you get towards the middle of the picture, there are people coming out of the car and in the background even, in the big picture. When you have a large print of this that can be purchased and you can see all the details much better. And when you see way in the background there are people wrecking their cars and things like that. And then over to the right is the Scripture I put in also the Scripture that refers to this from Matthew 24 I believe it is as the one that will be in the field working, two will be in the field working and one will be left, and one will be taken.

Dr. Reagan: One of the things that I love about this is you portray this, all these people going up to meet the Lord as the train of gown of the Bride of Christ. Jesus is coming for His Bride, it shows the bride meeting Jesus in the Heavens and the train of her gown is the saints going up.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Right, right, as they go up you can see the actual figures as they are going up but when it gets up to the Bride, as they get smaller and smaller they form the veil and the gown of the Bride as she meets Christ.

Dr. Reagan: Wow. Well it is a wonderful illustration and our time is almost up so I’ve got to do this next one very quickly. One that I just found recently that someone commissioned you to do I call the sovereignty of God and I just love this illustration, we don’t have much time but tell us quickly about it.

Pat Marvenko Smith: It is the hand, well they called it The Hand of God, and it was done actually for someone who just needed for a website ministry and they commissioned it and we did it, we do a lot of commissions for book covers and publishers and things like that.

Dr. Reagan: To me it illustrates the fact that we, you know here are all the rulers of the world and they are making all of these plans and all these schemes and plots and they’ve got everything on the board and it’s all, and God just reaches down and just throws it all off and says, “Hey, I am in control.”

Pat Marvenko Smith: Right. He’s in charge, um-huh, that’s right.

Dr. Reagan: Great illustration.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Thank you.

Dr. Reagan: Man that is fantastic. I am going to using that in some of our publications I will guarantee you.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Okay.

Dr. Reagan: Well Pat it has been a real joy and a blessing to have you on this program with us.

Pat Marvenko Smith: It has been a blessing to be here.

Dr. Reagan: And I just pray that the Lord will continue to anoint you to just do more and more illustrations of His Word. And that your illustration of the book of Revelation will just go all over the world because Jesus is coming soon and we need to contact as many people as we can as quickly as we can with that message.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Right, absolutely.

Dr. Reagan: And using illustrations really imprints it upon the brain, you just don’t forget.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Grabs the attention.

Dr. Reagan: Oh yeah, that’s right. Tell our viewers once more your website address.

Pat Marvenko Smith: Alright, my website is: and you can go there. There are two galleries that you can look at and a product page where you can order.

Dr. Reagan: Okay, alright. Well thanks again for being with us and folks I hope that you will be tuned in next week for our program. And pray that you will also keep us in your prayers, we need your prayers. Okay. Well until next week, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb and Lion Ministries’ saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our redemption is drawing near.”

End of Program

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