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

The Revelation of St John: 12. The Sea Monster and the Beast with the Lamb's Horn

Woodcut, 39 x 28 cm
Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe

A beast with ten horns and seven heads rose out of the sea and men worshipped it (Rev: 13:1-13). On each horn was a diadem. One head had a mortal wound that had healed. (The beast stands for Nero, as the well-known riddle of its number, 666, tends to confirm; its seven heads are probably a line of Roman emperors, the horns other rulers. One of its heads is seen to fall back as if dead. People kneel before it worshipping.)

In the upper part: the vision of the harvest of the world, the `grapes of wrath' (14: 14-20). Christ enthroned on a cloud, holding a sickle, sent out his angels with sickles. They gathered the grapes `and threw them into the great winepress of God's wrath'. (The jjudgment of the chosen and the damned, the wicked going to their doom.)

(Rev: 13:1-13, 14:14-17)