Albrecht Dürer

The Beast with Lamb's Horns

c. 1496-1497
Out of the sea rises a beast with ten horns and seven heads, representing the seven capital sins. The proudly erect lion’s head in the centre stands for Superbia (Pride), considered the root of evil; the dull face with little snail’s horns represents Acedia (Sloth); and the head with the beak and narrow-set eyes symbolizes Invidia (Envy). The crowd below follows this beast in admiration. At centre left, another beast with leonine features and lamb’s horns brings fire pouring down from the sky. Christ sits on high, wearing a golden crown and holding a sickle, a reference to the vision of the harvest of the earth’s vine. In the upper right, the angel with a sickle will reap grapes and cast them into the great winepress of God’s wrath, signifying the judgment of the damned (Rev. 14:17–19).
Title
The Beast with Lamb's Horns
Date
c. 1496-1497
Medium
Print
Materials
woodcut on laid paper
Dimensions
38.8 x 27.9 cm
Nationality
German
Credit line
Purchased 1922
Accession number
2069