The Whore of Babylon

From Apocalipsis cum Figuris (Apocalypse)

Illustrated by Albrecht Dürer



Dürer's The Whore of Babylon depicts one element of the ecstatic vision experienced by St John.


Mrs Charles W Heaton (The History of the Life of Albrecht Durer of Nurnberg with a Translation of His Letters and

Journal and Some Accounts of His Work: Seeley, Jackson and Halliday, London; 1881), in an early comprehensive

biographical work, provides the following description of this wonderful illustration:


The woman arrayed in purple and scarlet, 'having a golden cup in her hand, full of

abominations,' sits on the back of the seven-headed dragon, holding out her golden

cup, and 'drunken with the blood of the saints.' She is elaborately dressed in the
German costume of the fifteenth century, only exaggerated in its ornamentation.

Weeds spring up in the path before her, and she leaves fire behind her. The dragon

is of the usual form, but somehow his seven heads are too grotesque to be terrible.

There is not, indeed, the same amount of force in the conception of this design as

in most of the other cuts. The Babylonish woman does not strike one as being

sufficiently powerful or beautiful to compel the homage of those who are

worshipping her. These stand to the left, a careless group; only one among them,

a monk, seems aware of the coming destruction. He folds his hands in prayer,

whilst the utmost horror and fright are depicted on his countenance, as if he had

already caught sight of the angel above, who even then is uttering 'mightily, with

a strong voice,' the dread sentence, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen." Through

a break in the clouds to the left side of the cut we see a vast host of heavenly riders

who seem to be descending to the earth; and to the right, on the shore of the sea,

the city of Babylon is already in flames.




Our Greeting Cards and Reproduction Prints


Should you wish to order a Reproduction Print or an individual Greeting Card of this image, we have provided

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In the meantime, enjoy perusing this glorious illustration by Albrecht Dürer.



The illustration



Single Greeting Card (with matching Envelope)

Price: US$5.00


Reproduction on 8x12" sheet

Code: AD WB (8x12)
Price: US$30.00


  Reproduction on 12x18" sheet

Code: AD WB (12x18)
Price: US$60.00




Some details from the illustration


The Whore of Babylon The descending Angels Babylon in flames