The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun (Rev. 12: 1-4)
On View: Lobby annex, 1st floor
William Blake was a visionary printmaker, painter, and poet influenced by the Bible as well as the art of Michelangelo. Inspired by the Book of Revelations, he transformed a classical male nude into a seven-headed dragon, identified with Satan. Here, the Great Red Dragon attempts to snatch a woman’s soon-to-be-born son. The frightened woman, praying for divine intervention, has been interpreted as the Virgin Mary, Israel, and the Church.
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Black ink and watercolor over traces of graphite and incised lines on wove paper
Image: 17 3/16 x 13 11/16 in. (43.7 x 34.8 cm)
Sheet (with inlay): 21 11/16 x 17 1/16 in. (55.1 x 43.3 cm) (show scale)
Signed bottom right: Monogram "WB inv"
Inscribed above the image: "A Woman clothed with the sun, & the moon under her feet, and/upon her head a crown of twelve stars; and behold a great red dragon also."
Inscribed below the image at right: "Revns:ch:12th: v 4th:"
Inscribed below the image: "And the tail of the great red dragon drew the third part of the stars of/heaven, and did cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the/woman which was ready to be delivered for to devour her child as soon as it was born."
Gift of William Augustus White
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William Blake (British, 1757-1827). The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun (Rev. 12: 1-4), ca. 1803-1805. Black ink and watercolor over traces of graphite and incised lines on wove paper, Image: 17 3/16 x 13 11/16 in. (43.7 x 34.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of William Augustus White, 15.368 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 15.368_SL1.jpg)
overall, 15.368_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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