DÜRER, Albrecht
(b. 1471, Nürnberg, d. 1528, Nürnberg)

The Revelation of St John: 10. The Woman Clothed with the Sun and the Seven-headed Dragon)

Woodcut, 39 x 28 cm
Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe

The seventh trumpet (Rev. 12:1-6) brought a vision of God's heavenly temple, followed by earthquake and storm, and the appearance of the famous `portent': `a woman robed with the sun, beneath her feet the moon, and on her head a crown of twelve stars'. A dragon with seven heads stood waiting to devour the child she was about to bear, but it was borne by angels safely up to God. (There is doubt about the writer's original meaning for this vision. The woman was probably meant originally to symbolize the Church. Her identification with the Virgin Mary was a medieval interpretation of Bonaventura and others.)