The Beast with the Lamb’s Horn

Albrecht Dürer, The Sea Monster and the Beast with the Lamb’s Horn, 1497–1498. Woodcut, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe, Germany.

Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) was a celebrated German Renaissance artist known for his prolific body of work. This woodcut, from the Apocalypse Series, was an outstanding achievement in Dürer’s early career. The set of 15 woodcuts illustrates the revelations of John of Patmos that tell the story of the end of the world and the coming of the kingdom of God. The central focus of this detail is the seven-headed beast rising from the sea. On each horned head rests a diadem, or crown, representing a line of early Roman emperors. People cower beneath an image of a fearsome creature with ram’s horns while they kneel in prayer before these terrible creatures. 

Albrecht Dürer, The Sea Monster and the Beast with the Lamb’s Horn. Woodcut, 1497–1498. Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe, Germany.

The otherwise unattested author of the book of Revelation. Historically, he was identified with John the Apostle, but modern scholars believe he was a different person, perhaps a Christian banished to Patmos.

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