The Great Red Dragon Paintings are a series of watercolour paintings by the English poet and painter William Blake, painted between 1805 and1810. These paintings depict 'The Great Red Dragon' in various scenes from the Book of Revelation.
William Blake William Blake was a visionary, even hallucinatory, English painter who lived at the dawn of the technological era. Unlike most artists of his era he did not draw from life, claiming that the visions that appeared before him were clearer and more vivid than his perception of external reality. Around 1805-1810, Blake was commissioned to create over a hundred paintings illustrating books from the Bible. Among these was a four-painting cycle of the Great Red Dragon (Satan) from the Book of Revelations in the Bible. The dragon is described as having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads, seven crowns. His tail drew one third of the stars of the sky, and threw them to the earth.
The Prince of Darkness, Lucifer, The Beast, The Great Red Dragon - The Devil has many titles and just as many appearances- all the easier for the most infamous trickster to induce mayhem on the Earth. It’s usually incognito and in the form of serpents, or other animals and even humanoid. But if ever confronted with the epitome of all evil in all its hideous glory, as seen in this painting, with a wingspan as wide as a house and a tail which will wrap around you, there’s not much to do but cower in fear.
The Devil is evil itself, the enemy of God. It plays a starring role in the book of Revelation in the Bible, which was illustrated at one point by the English poet and painter William Blake. He was commissioned to paint over a hundred paintings for the King James Bible, including the Great Red Dragon series, which altogether hold the number 2 slot in the 10 scariest paintings list. William Blake can be considered a “visionary” painter for allowing the imagination to take free reign in his work. This can be taken literally, as Blake once claimed to have gotten the idea for an illustration method from the vision of his dead brother. Beside the Bible, his inspirations would illustrate the works of Shakespeare, Milton, Dante’s Divine Comedy, and his own poetry.
“And behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth.” What you’re seeing above is called “The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun.” In the painting we see the Beast, wings spread, towering over a woman representing the Church.
The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun Housed at the Brooklyn Museum. This is the painting “The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed With the Sun,” not to be confused with the woman clothed “In Sun.” Here is a different angle of the same scene showing a much more noticeably pregnant woman, who symbolizes the Virgin Mary. In this one, Satan has taken flight with tail coiling behind and prepares to descend on the woman and devour her child.
The Great Red Dragon and the Beast from the Sea This painting depicts the passage literally, taken from Revelations 13 : 1- “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. “ Housed at the National Gallery of Art, Washington.
This also comes from the apocalypse doomsday story in the final book of the bible. Housed at the Rosenbach Museum & Library.
Religious or not you can look at the painting, especially the one in slide 6 and imagine if you witnessed such a beast. The humongous muscles rippling on the diabolical back of the Devil, with the huge bat wings spread out ready to flap down in an Earth-shattering display of might, with the horns and tail slowly crushing the woman to death, are all enough to scare even the most seasoned arch-diocesan exorcist. This isn’t a hallucination, or a vision or nightmare. It’s not a demon, or a harpy, or some Hellion Imp. It is the combined fears of humankind, the lack of light and love, the harbinger of doom and darkness. It is Evil itself.
Music ~ Enya ‘Book of Days ‘ Slide Presentation Created by Trinity 2010